MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said there is no proven cure yet for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified this in a press briefing on Wednesday, March 18, as the Philippines recorded 3 new recoveries from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 7.
“Gusto nating klaruhin sa ating mga kababayan na dapat po nating tandaan: wala pang nadidiskubre na gamot sa COVID-19 (We want to clarify this to our countrymen and they should remember this: no cure has been discovered yet for COVID-19),” Vergeire said. (READ: FALSE: Gargling salt water ‘eliminates’ coronavirus)
The DOH official explained there was “no special formula” that was applied to the 7 patients who recovered from COVID-19.
Vergeire said the medical facilities where the patients were confined only gave them supportive treatment based on their symptoms. She added that none of the recoveries had preexisting medical conditions before they caught the virus.
“So kung sinuman ang naka-recover sa atin, they were only provided in the different facilities…ng supportive treatment po para sa kung anuman ang kanilang nararanasan o nararamdaman…. So wala pong naging special formula para naka-recover ‘yung mga taong ito,” Vergeire said.
(So those who have recovered among us, they were only provided in the different facilities…with supportive treatment based on what symptoms they were experiencing…. So there was no special formula for them to recover.)
As of midday on Wednesday, the Philippines has tallied a total of 193 cases of COVID-19, 14 of which were fatal. Worldwide, the virus has infected over 189,000 people and killed more than 7,800 across 146 countries.
Health experts in the Philippines and the World Health Organization (WHO) have estimated as many as 75,000 people could get COVID-19 by June if it is not properly contained.
The DOH and officials from the WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have all said the most effective protective measures against COVID-19 are still frequent handwashing, social distancing, avoiding touching one’s face, and practicing proper hygiene when coughing and sneezing. (READ: ‘COVID dance challenge’: DOH brings battle vs coronavirus to TikTok)