Duterte offers P10M reward to Filipino who can discover COVID-19 vaccine

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PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to give P10 million in reward money to any Filipino citizen who can find a cure for the novel coronavirus.

“Because COVID-19 is public enemy number one not only in the Philippines, but also in the whole world, the president is announcing that he will give a reward of up to P10 million to any Filipino who can discover a vaccine against COVID-19,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced at a press briefing on Tuesday, April 21.

He added that Duterte will also offer a “substantial grant” to the laboratories of the University of the Philippines and the Philippine General Hospital for vaccine development.

The Philippine General Hospital, one of the main referral hospitals for COVID-19 patients, has also asked those who have recovered from the disease for blood donations to be used in finding a cure.

Scientists are checking if they can use the antibodies developed by a recovered COVID-19 patient to help those who are still struggling with the disease to combat it, according to CNN Philippines.

Among the recovered patients who have donated are Philippine Senators Sonny Angara and Migz Zubiri.

Duterte earlier said he will only lift the enhanced community quarantine enforced in Luzon to help contain the spread of COVID-19 once a cure has been discovered.
As of writing, there are a total of 6,710 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 446 fatalities and 693 recoveries.

Of the health care professionals, 1,602 have been infected with the disease — 422 are workers and 386 are nurses. Medical and radiological technologists, as well as nursing assistants, have been also infected.

The World Health Organization has described the situation as “worrisome” as 13% of the cases in the country are health care workers when the average for medical workers infected with COVID-19 in the Western Pacific region is only 2 to 3%.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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