Duterte to look for funds to buy high nasal cannula devices

Published July 16, 2020, 3:39 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has promised to look for funds for the purchase of high flow nasal cannula devices to help provide relief to patients with the new coronavirus disease.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on July 15, 2020.

The President made the statement after consulting health experts about the government’s pandemic response, including the best potential care for those with symptoms of the coronavirus, during a meeting Wednesday.

The health experts suggested the high flow nasal cannula therapy may be a better alternative to ventilators to assist COVID patients, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

“He asked about the available medicine so they discussed those undergoing clinical trials. He asked if the asthma medicine can be used but the experts said no since there is no data to support that,” Roque said in Filipino during a televised briefing Thursday.

“What is the best treatment? It turns out that high flow nasal cannula, not the ventilators, is better. However, these are manufactured in New Zealand and the supply is low. He (President Duterte) said we will will look for funds and buy many high nasal flow cannula,” Roque added.

Roque said the President also asked the experts if the government could reopen the economy despite the surge in cases. He said the experts agreed with the reopening the economy as long as the testing, isolation, and treatment efforts are accelerated.

“He wanted professional opinion from experts,” Roque said about the President’s meeting with health professionals.

The new quarantine classification of cities and provinces wee announced during the President’s meeting with several Cabinet members, government officials, and health experts.

Under the President’s latest decision, Metro Manila will stay under general community quarantine while Cebu City has graduated to modified enhanced community quarantine. The country will remain largely under modified general community quarantine until the end of the month.

According to the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the health experts present in the meeting were Dr. Anthony Leachon (President, Manila Doctors Hospital Medical Staff Association); Dr. Camilo Roa Jr. (Pulmonary Medicine, Manila Doctors Hospital); Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana (National Institute of Health, University of the Philippines (UP) and COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Consultant and Member; Dr. Marissa Alejandria (COVID-19 TAG Member); Assistant Professor Ranjit Singh Rye, MPA (UP-Department of Political Science and OCTA Research Fellow); Prof. Fredegusto Guido David, Ph.D. (UP-Institute of Mathematics and OCTA Research Fellow); Prof. Michael Tee, MD, MHPED, MBA (UP-College of Medicine and Chair of Philippine One Health University Network); and Dr. Aguedo Troy Gepte IV (Public Health Epidemiologist).