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VCO seen as cure for COVID-19

April 30, 2020

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 April) – A Department of Science and Technology official expressed optimism that clinical trials on virgin coconut oil or VCO as a possible cure for coronavirus disease could yield positive results, as it has proved effective against other types of viruses.     In a virtual presser on Wednesday, DOST-Davao director Anthony Sales said previous studies showed that VCO could kill other types of viruses by destroying their cellular coating, raising hopes that it could also work with patients infected with COVID-19. “The VCO, based on previous studies, has been shown to degrade or denature the cellular coating of the virus or the viral envelope. Once destroyed, the virus will die as its components will be exposed,” he explained. He added that lauric acid and monolaurin, which are synthesized by the body when VCO is taken, could inhibit the replication of the viruses. He said the DOST has provided funding support to the efforts of renowned scientist and VCO advocate Dr. Fabrian Dayrit of Ateneo de Manila University and Duke-NUS University of Singapore to determine the mechanism how the VCO could work against the virus. “The next step of Ateneo is to do clinical trials. It will be tested on humans because before it was only done on animal models. It was proven effective for animals because it has been used commercially for animals like chicken to prevent avian influenza virus,” he added. Once completed, he said the VCO might require approval from the Food and Drug Administration as a “supplement” once clinical trials prove the product’s efficacy in battling the virus. In “The Potential of Coconut Oil and its Derivatives as Effective and Safe Antiviral Agents Against the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV-2019) published on Ateneo’s website, Dayrit and another scientist, Dr. Mary T. Newport, explained “that lauric and monolaurin, its derivative, have been known for many years to have significant antiviral activity.” “Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid which makes up about 50% of coconut oil; monolaurin is a metabolite that is naturally produced by the body’s own enzymes upon ingestion of coconut oil and is also available in pure form as a supplement. Sodium lauryl sulfate, a common surfactant that is made from lauric acid, has been shown to have potent antiviral properties. Lauric acid, monolaurin, and sodium lauryl sulfate (which is also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate) are used in a wide range of products for their antiviral properties,” the study reads. As of Wednesday, Department of Health-Davao reported that COVID-19 cases in the region remained at 129 while another patient recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 74. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)  

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NFA-Caraga stops supplying retailers to ensure sufficiency

April 30, 2020

BUTUAN City – The National Food Authority in Caraga Region (NFA-13) has stopped supplying rice to accredited retailers to ensure the availability of supply throughout the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.     NFA-13 information officer Amelou Jane Mendoza told the Philippine News Agency Tuesday the move would ensure that the agency meets the rice requirements of government institutional buyers amid the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.     “We need to prioritize the local government units (LGUs) and the different relief-giving agencies as they continue their relief food operations,” Mendoza said.     She was referring to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), local government units (LGUs), and other entities involved in the government Covid-19 response.     “With the implementation of the Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tarrification Law (RTL), the primary mandate of DA-NFA is to secure the buffer stock to be distributed in times of emergency or calamities,” Mendoza said.     Mendoza said that from March up to April 24, 2020, around 37,340 bags of rice have already been released by NFA-13 to LGUs and the DSWD in the area.     Based on the 2 percent market participation of NFA rice from daily consumption rate, she said NFA's supply in the region could still last for up to two months.     However, she said that if the market participation of NFA rice would increase up to 25 percent due to high demand from institutional buyers, the NFA supply could only last for a month.     “There is no need to be alarmed; so far, we have enough supply of NFA rice,” Mendoza said.     She added that a recent report from the Department of Agriculture in the Caraga Region (DA-13) also assured enough supply based on the current harvest season in the area.     Mendoza said Caraga Region is expected to produce 315,947 metric tons or an equivalent of 134 percent rice sufficiency by the end of the first semester based on the consolidated planting report of the LGUs.     She added that NFA-13 is currently buying dry and clean palay from farmers at the price of PHP19 per kilo. (PNA)  

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Seafarer in MisOcc tests positive for Covid-19

April 30, 2020

ILIGAN City -- One of the five seafarers who arrived at Ozamiz City port Tuesday night tested positive for the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19), an official said Wednesday.     The five seafarers on board the St. Michael the Archangel of 2GO Shipping were coming from Manila with more than 300 other seafarers repatriated from other countries following the Covid-19 pandemic. They were tested at the pier station using a rapid test kit provided by the provincial government of Misamis Occidental. The one who tested positive was brought by the local government unit to an isolation area. Misamis Occidental Governor Philip Tan, on a Facebook post, said the male seafarer will still have to undergo a swab test “as recommended by our doctors to confirm the result of the rapid test”. “He is now in one of our holding centers alone in one room but he is okay. We hope in the swab test, it will be negative,” Tan said. On Monday, the provincial government received backlash from residents over a Facebook post announcing that the seafarers would not be allowed to disembark because their arrival did not have proper coordination. “We were also not informed of their arrival if we did not ask to confirm it, we would not know,” Tan said on Facebook post on April 27. Residents tagged the move as “discrimination." Tan changed his mind on Tuesday afternoon, saying the provincial government has decided to allow the seafarers to disembark after proper health protocols. He said the decision was made upon consultation with the provincial health office and other local government officials, as well as the management of the General Medical Center (MHARSG MC), the Department of Health-accredited hospital in the province for Covid-19 cases. “We will send a medical officer who will conduct a health check and rapid test to all five passengers, check their documents and after clearance, we will send them directly to their LGU (local government) holding facilities,” Tan said. (PNA)  

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General Community Quarantine sa MisOr, extended taman May 15

April 30, 2020

GILUGWAYAN pa ni Gov. Bambi Emano ang general community quarantine (GCQ) dinhi sa Misamis Oriental hangtud sa Mayo 15, 2020, o hangtud nga molurang na ang hulga sa coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) sa tibuok Pilipinas. Kini, human gi-rekomendar sa mga mayores ug Provincial Task Force for COVID-19 ang GCQ extension aron masiguro nga walay mahitabong local transmission sa killer virus. Apan, dunay pipila ka isyu sa kwarentinas nga giusab.      Gawas nga mahimo nang maka-angkas sa motorsiklo ang miyembro sa pamilya ubos sa bag-ong Executive Order GYVBE No. 2020-216, lakip sa kasugoan ang protocol reporting nga sundon sa matag lungsod kalabot sa “probable,” “suspect,” o “positive” nga dili pwede i-report sa silingang lungsod.     Susama pananglit dunay suspected COVID-19 infected resident sa El Salvador City, dili pwede ang Cagayan de Oro local government maoy mag-report o magpahibalo sa katawhan kalabot niini, susama sa nahitabo ning bag-o nga nagresulta sa kagubot ug kaguliyang sa Misamisnons.     Nalakip kini sa bag-ong kasugoan human si Gov. Emano ug Task Force chief Dr. Jerie Calingasan mihangyo sa consultative meeting kauban ang 25 ka mayores sa tibuok lalawigan kalabot na kung angay paba i-extend ang general community quarantine dinhi sa Misamis Oriental.  

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UN’s Covid response

April 30, 2020

THE United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has expanded its rebuilding program in Marawi City to include response measures on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. In a press statement released Monday night, UN-Habitat said its Global Emergency Response Fund is providing an additional budget for the three-month project called COVID-19 Response As We Rebuild Marawi. The project components include providing residents access to food and other basic needs through satellite markets and mobile stores, installing hand-washing facilities and distribution of protective equipment and other medical supplies, promoting community level gardening, and enhancing the city government’s incident command system. T

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PRDP delays

April 30, 2020

DAVAO City — Agricultural infrastructure and enterprises funded under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) are facing delays in implementation due to lockdown measures in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. “COVID-19 is really affecting our operations, especially in implementing our sub-projects that involve field work since there are quarantine measures implemented in different cities, provinces and municipalities,” PRDP Deputy Project Director for Mindanao Danilo T. Alesna told BusinessWorld through e-mail. Construction projects not directly related to the health crisis are among the activities banned by most local governments.

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