President Rodrigo Duterte is urging individuals who have recovered from the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to donate blood following studies that show that antibodies might help improve the condition of severely-infected patients.
Duterte made this call praising the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP PGH) for considering the use of antibodies found in the blood of Covid-19 survivors to treat patients who were severely ill.
“Ang pag-asa natin is — including UP, itong atin ipagmalaki rin natin ang mga doktor natin. Iyang mga bright. ‘Yung na — gumaling na, nagkaroon na ‘yan sila ng antibodies (Our hope is…including UP, we take pride in our doctors. They’re bright. They found out that those who have recovered from Covid-19 have antibodies),” he said in a meeting with select members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) early Thursday morning.
UP-PGH spokesperson Jonas del Rosario earlier appealed for blood donations from Covid-19 survivors since antibodies found in their blood serve as a protection from the disease.
Duterte said Covid-19 survivors would be doing the country a huge favor by donating their blood.
“Ang mga taga-UP they are (The experts from UP) — they are trying to figure out na ‘yung nakalabas na sa — lahat na nagmamag — mag mabuting-loob kayo. And I think kung ako (those that have been released from the hospitals, do us a kind favor. If it were me), I should volunteer. That is the way of thanking God that you have survived,” Duterte said.
Duterte said donating blood would help save lives.
“Magpakuha kayo kasi ‘yun ang dugo ninyo — ‘yung plasma ninyo ‘yun ang i-inject doon sa mga tinamaan (Get your blood drawn—because the plasma can be injected to those infected),” he added.
In an interview with GMA News, del Rosario said the use of antibodies is still at the “experimental stage” and should not be considered standard care.
Antibodies, which protect the body from diseases, are protein found in the blood that is produced in response to foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses invading the body, according to the US-based Center for Disease Control.