U.P. scientists making ventilators – DOH
MANILA, Philippines – Scientists at the University of the Philippines-Manila National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) are developing ventilators to help augment the local demand as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said this in an interview with DZMM on Wednesday morning, April 1, but declined to give other details since the process had yet to be completed.
“Meron ho tayo ngayon na parang locally-produced kung saan gumagawa po ang UP-NIH (We have now locally-produced ventilators being developed by scientists from the UP-NIH), but I don’t like to disclose it yet. Hindi pa ho tapos (They are not finished yet),” Vergeire said.
“Hopefully, kapag lumabas na ang pinag-aralan na ito at ginagawa ay makakakuha na tayo ng marami at saka mas mura po ito (Hopefully, once they are done with the study and this is completed, we can acquire many units. And this is also much cheaper)," she added.
The UP-NIH had also developed coronavirus kits. Field validation for the test kits are expected to be finished by Wednesday, while the Food and Drug Administration Philippines is expected to issue a certificate of product registration for the local kits by Friday, April 3.
According to Vergeire, there are a total of 1,263 ventilators scattered all over hospitals in the country. She added that these were not enough which was why the government is processing the procurement of more ventilators.
On Monday, March 30, the health department asked for additional medical equipment such as ventilators and respirators for severe cases of the coronavirus disease.
Vergeire said the country has received a total of 6 donated ventilators, and expects more to come in the coming days.
Ventilators are crucial to supporting COVID-19 patients who are in critical condition because these help them breathe when their lungs fail. (READ: IN NUMBERS: What hospitals need to treat COVID-19 patients)
As of Tuesday, the Philippines had 2,084 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 88 deaths and 49 recoveries. – Rappler.com