Manila buys 2,000 vials of Remdesivir for COVID-19 patients in district hospitals

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 13) — The City of Manila has purchased 2,000 vials of Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in its district hospitals.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Thursday said the local government unit allotted ₱13 million for the purchase of the drug. They were originally priced at around ₱20,000 each, but the city was able to buy them at only ₱6,500. he said.

Domagoso said they will be used to complement the efforts of the nation's capital to fight the viral disease. Remdesivir will be used to treat mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 patients in the city’s six major health care facilities as approved by the Food and Drug Administration, he said.

It will be distributed to the Ospital ng Tondo, Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila, and Sta. Ana Hospital — the city's COVID-19 referral hospital.

However, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan noted that they will not be available for sale.

"Kung saka-sakali kakailanganin pa, bibili pa po tayo… mapataas lang namin ang probabilidad na kapag kayo ay na-infect ng COVID-19, kayo ay mag-recover," Domagoso said.

[Translation: If the need arises, we will purchase for more… just to increase the probability that if you were infected by COVID-19, you will recover.]

Remdesivir is an antiviral medication that is now being widely used as an additional medication for severe COVID-19 patients. It is one of the drugs included in the World Health Organization's Solidarity Trial.

The Department of Health said its early clinical trial results have shown “positive” effects on patients, but data are not “conclusive” yet.