A group of doctors and businessmen is pushing for preventive and early treatment of COVID-19 to stop the hospitals from being overwhelmed with patients.
In an interview with ANC on Tuesday, Dr. Joel Lopez, organizer of the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC-PH), underscored the importance of preventive treatment in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Prevention is really key. That’s one of the things that are missing in this pandemic. We need to prevent illness in the first place,” he said.
The medical expert said his group has already sent their recommendations and suggestions to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to conduct “prophylaxis of pre and post exposed people or patients using natural remedies as well as certain medications that have been proven safe and effective.”
“Our goal is for the doctors at the barangay levels or LGUs (local government units) to be able to treat mild or moderate symptoms so they won’t get worse and end up in the hospitals,” Lopez said.
Lopez said his group’s recommendation aims to boost the public’s immune system to prevent them from acquiring the illness.
“People are taking vitamins but not everyone does, and you have to take the right dosage and the timing is really important,” Lopez said.
Included in the group’s recommendation is the intake of nutritional supplements such as Vitamin C, D3, and Zinc.
“Essential oils are also helpful. As far as medications are concerned, they could use natural remedies such as EGCg (Epigallocatechin Gallate) 400 mg,” he added,
The doctor also suggested the use of the controversial hydroxychloroquine but warned that it should be used on doctor’s advice
“You cannot recommend this to everyone,” Lopez said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend the use of hydroxychloroquine as medication for COVID-19, Lopez stood his ground on its use.
Citing studies, Lopez said hydroxychloroquine “actually works” in treating COVID-19.
“It basically facilitates the entry of Zinc into the cell. Zinc is basically the bullet and hydroxychloroquine is the gun,” he explained.
“Zinc works as an anti-viral. It’s the one that prevents replication of the virus within the cells,” he added.
As soon as the use of preventive treatments is implemented, combined with the use of face masks and the practice of physical distancing, Lopez said there could be a gradual lifting of quarantine restrictions nationwide.