DOST ay nagsasaliksik tungkol sa lagundi at tawa-tawa na pwedeng panlunas ng COVID-19

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The Science and Technology Department (DOST) is studying various herbal medicines available in the Philippines to improve the treatment of patients with COVID-19 infections.

In a Thursday interview on Dobol B sa News TV, DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said a study on lagundi and tawa-tawa is in the pipeline aside from virgin coconut oil.

He said these will undergo in vitro testing in a Singapore laboratory where active components of these herbal medicines will be introduced into the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“Dalawa ‘yung nakalinya na rin, ganoon din ang pagdadaanang proseso [tulad ng VCO]. Kaya lang ito, imbes na sabay ang pagpapa-in vitro trial sa Singapore, uunahin kasi hindi na kami magki-clinical trials kung hindi maganda ang resulta sa laboratoryo,” Dela Peña said.

“Ang tinutukoy ko ay lagundi at tawa-tawa… kasi pareho ring may antiviral properties ‘yan kaya nga approved na gamot ang lagundi sa ubo at approved na health supplements ang tawa-tawa sa dengue,” he added.

He said the DOST is supporting all studies that would help in finding cures for various ailments, not just COVID-19.

“Pati ‘yung lupa sa ilalim ng dagat inaaral namin ngayon dahil maraming potential antibiotics. ‘Yung sediments sa ilalim ng dagat. Inaaral ngayon ‘yan sa University of San Agustin ng ating dalawang balik-scientist,” Dela Peña said.

“Pag nakita na namin ang active ingredients at saan nakakapagpagaling, iyon nag-uumpisa na kami mag-alok sa industry. Inaalok namin sa mga industry na Pilipino na i-pick up itong mga active ingredient na ito at sila na ang magtuloy hanggang maging gamot.”

Dela Peña shared that, after the DOST announced its plan to establish a virology institute, many Filipino scientists abroad expressed their intent to return to the country.

He also said that he thinks that the P50 million reward that President Rodrigo Duterte is offering to any Filipino who will discover a COVID-19 vaccine may go to groups pursuing another important endeavor.

“Ang malamang makakuha ng premyo ng Presidente ay gumagawa ng ventilator. Pinayagan naming sabay-sabay na mag-research ang iba’t ibang grupo. Magugulat tayo, magkakaroon tayo, magkakaroon tayo,” he said.

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