By Dhel Nazario
Local scientists are probing transmission patterns of COVID-19 among those who were infected as well as their contacts in the country.
This approach will aid policymakers craft more improved evidence-based strategies in addressing the disease.
The study is now being done which will yield data on transmission dynamics, secondary infection rate, and clinical attack rate of the disease among close contacts and symptomatic proportion of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
The study will use samples from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in its aim to supply the Department of Health (DOH) with useful data which can improve national efforts in case isolation, contact tracing, and disease control and prevention.
The project is led by Dr. Mayan U. Lumandas of RITM and is funded by the Department of Science and Technology through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).
Aside from virus transmission patterns, three ongoing research projects on COVID-19 are also being supported by the Council. These include the COVID-19 detection kit created by the UP National Institutes of Health which is expected to be distributed to various healthcare facilities by the end of March.
A web- and mobile-based surveillance and response tool called FASSSTER is also being enhanced to visualize real-time updates on the numbers of COVID-19-related information in the country.
DOST-PCHRD is also supporting research that tests the anti-viral properties of lauric acid and its derivatives against coronavirus.