Manila purchases anti-COVID-19 drug
Mayor Isko Moreno (right) and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan show the vials of remdesivir during a press conference at the Manila city hall yesterday.
Manila purchases anti-COVID-19 drug
Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The city government of Manila has acquired 2,000 vials of remdesivir to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, Mayor Isko Moreno said yesterday.

He said the city government spent P13 million to purchase the vials, which cost P6,500 each, lower than its original price of nearly P20,000.

Moreno, however, clarified that remdesivir is not a vaccine but a life-saving antiviral medication for mild, moderate and severe cases of COVID-19.

Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, a doctor by profession, said remdesivir will only be used in hospitals and will not be available over the counter.

Remdesivir has been approved for use in the city’s six district hospitals by the Food and Drug Administration.

32 workers infected

Meanwhile, the Ospital ng Tondo will be temporarily closed after 32 of its health workers tested positive for COVID-19, Isko Moreno said.

Moreno said he approved hospital director Dr. Myrna Lacson-Paloma’s request for the hospital to be closed for two weeks starting yesterday for sanitation and to give all medical staff some “breathing space.”

“To ease the burden that the doctors and the nurses have become the patients, we will give them time to recover and to rest,” he said.

He said those who are already confined at the hospital, including COVID-19 patients, will continue to be tended by hospital staff.

The hospital will only accept emergency cases during this period. Incoming patients will be referred to the city’s remaining five district hospitals.

Pasig hospital’s ER closed

Meanwhile, the emergency room of the Pasig City General Hospital will be closed from today until Aug. 19 as most of its personnel will undergo quarantine, Mayor Vico Sotto said yesterday.

He did not say how many among the hospital’s staff will undergo quarantine, but noted that the closure could not be avoided due to the lack of manpower.

Sotto advised Pasig residents in need of medical attention to call their emergency hotline 86430000. – Emmanuel Tupas

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