On April 13's weekly Luzon ECQ press conference, President Rodrigo Duterte stated that lockdown might be lifted when an antibody treatment produced by a pharmaceutical company is available on the market in May.
"Kung nandiyan na 'yong antibody, available na sa market dito and it is being sold in quantity, in number, then I'm inclined to at that time to maybe lift the lockdown," Duterte said. "Mayroon nang medisina, antibody, ang isang giant pharmaceutical (company) pero hindi galing sa tao. Sabi by May, they would start to market it."
Duterte did not disclose the name of the pharmaceutical company in question.
Hospitals around Metro Manila have been asking COVID-19 survivors to donate blood or plasma, which can then be used to treat patients in critical condition via blood transfusions. Survivors carry antibodies in their plasma that succeeded in beating COVID-19 in their own bodies, and blood transfusions would harness this success in other patients with more severe cases.
The World Health Organization has publicly supported this type of treatment, however, they have also noted that it is not always successful as timing is crucial in its administration.
Over 70 coronavirus vaccines are currently in development, with three already in human trials. But it will take months, and perhaps an entire year, before these vaccines will be available.
For more stories on COVID-19, please click reportr.world.