MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is offering millions of pesos to any Filipino who can develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, April 21.
“Dahil nga po public enemy po itong COVID-19 hindi lang dito sa Pilipinas kundi sa buong mundo, inanunsyo po ng Pangulo na siya ay magbibigay ng pabuya hanggang sampung milyong piso sa kahit sinong Pilipino na makakadiskubre ng vaccine laban sa COVID-19,” Roque said.
(Because COVID-19 is a public enemy not only in the Philippines but around the world, the President announced that he is offering a reward of up to P10 million to any Filipino who would be able to discover a vaccine against COVID-19.)
Duterte will also give the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital a substantial grant for the development of a vaccine against the disease, Roque added.
Duterte has deferred deciding on whether to extend or modify the “enhanced community quarantine” or lockdown of Luzon island. After consulting with several top health experts on Monday, the President told members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to study the implications of extending, modifying, or lifting the lockdown on different social sectors and geographical areas.
The IATF will meet again on Wednesday, April 22, to come up with its recommendation to the President, its spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said earlier on Tuesday.
All these – because neither a vaccine nor cure for COVID-19 has been developed.
Laboratories around the world are racing for an antidote to the new virus that has killed at least 428 people in the Philippines, and more than 170,000 around the world.
As of Monday, April 20, the Philippines has recorded 6,459 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 428 fatalities, and 613 recoveries, according to the Department of Health. – Rappler.com