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DOST funds research team to understand transmission pattern of COVID-19

DOST funds research team to understand transmission pattern of COVID-19

As of March 20, 2:21AM, the Philippines have 217 confirmed patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 17 deaths, despite Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. With the growing number of patients, local scientists from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine carries out a study to understand the transmission patterns of COVID-19 in the country. Department of Science and Technology said this on Thursday, March 19.

Photo from Deccan Herald

DOST funds research team to understand transmission pattern of COVID-19

The DOST-funded research team sets to assist in creating an evidence-based strategy to control the disease. Of course, this might be one of the ways to stop it from spreading further. With RITM’s Dr. Mayan Lumandas leading the study, they will gather data on transmission dynamics, secondary infection rate, the speed of spread, and the frequency of fatality among the patients who experienced symptoms and also, the people they interacted with.

The study will help improve the current government efforts in isolation, contact tracing, and the control and prevention of the infection. Aside from this, DOST has also started supporting three other studies to contain the illness. This includes developing UP National Institute of Health’s COVID-19 testing kits. Once World Health Organization (WHO) approves this, the kits could be commercially-available in a couple of weeks.

Photo from CNN Philippines

UP National Institute of Health’s coronavirus disease testing kits

In fact, the Filipino science community continues to be largely under-appreciated and underfunded. Despite that, local scientists and researchers continue to reach a breakthrough. The testing kit also sets to detect cases of coronavirus as the cases continues to rise in a rapid rate. With the detection kit aiding Filipino frontliners, it would mean a lot if or when WHO approves these kits for their use and the public’s protection.

Called the GenAmplify™ COVID-19 rRT-PCR Detection Kit, the development came from the Philippines Genome Center and UP Manila’s National Institutes of Health. Of course, it was the same team that developed the Lab-in-a-Mug test kits for dengue. Microbiologist and infectious disease specialist Dr. Raul V. Destura gears towards the development of low-cost technologies to control infectious disease in the country.

Photo from Gulf News

Thank you to Filipino health officials who serve as the frontliners on this war against COVID-19! Stay safe, Villagers.

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