In view of the need to keep the public abreast with accurate and relevant information, the Department of Health wishes to provide the public with right information about the COVID-2019:

1. What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses causing a range of illnesses, from the common cold to more serious infections such as those caused by Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Coronavirus can also cause a variety of diseases in farm animals and domesticated pets.

2. What are the symptoms and possible complications of a coronavirus infection?

Common signs of coronavirus infection include flu-like and respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

3. Where did the novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) originate?

On 31 December 2019, a clustering of pneumonia cases of unknown etiology was reported in Wuhan, China. The outbreak was later determined to be caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-2019), a new coronavirus strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

4. How is the 2019-nCoV transmitted?

On January 24, 2020, the World Health Organization has confirmed human-to-human transmission largely in Wuhan City, China. However, there is not enough information yet to draw a definitive conclusion about the intensity of human-to-human transmission, full clinical features, and the original source of the outbreak.

Health experts are accelerating research to study the origins of the virus and how it is spreading. The virus has been differentiated from SARS and MERS, but its contagiousness and virulence is still being studied.

5. Is there a treatment and vaccine for the COVID-2019?

There is no specific treatment for any coronavirus including the COVID-2019. However, many of the symptoms can be treated based on the patient’s clinical conditions. Supportive care for infected persons can also be highly effective.

To date, there remains to be no vaccines for the new strain of coronavirus, hence, the existing Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines (PCVs) are ineffective against COVID-2019.

6. What should you do if you are experiencing mild flu-like symptoms, but have not traveled to China recently or have not been in close contact with anyone who traveled to China?

In this case, there is no need to be tested for COVID-2019. Please consult at your nearest health facility as deemed necessary.

7. What should hospitals with suspected case/s of theCOVID-2019 do?

The designated infection control committee (ICC) of the hospital shall be responsible for the preliminary investigation of suspected cases. Once the case is classified as a person under investigation (PUI), he/she should be quarantined. The ICC should then notify the DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESU), who shall then report to the DOH Epidemiology Bureau.

Hospitals with PUIs in quarantine will also send the collected specimens (oropharyngeal and nasal swabs) to Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) for screening.

The DOH also encourages health workers to be vigilant and take extra precautionary measures when in contact with patients with acute respiratory infection, especially those with travel history to China.
Finally, all health facilities must enhance their standard infection prevention and control practices, especially in their emergency departments.

8. What can the public do to prevent the spread of COVID-2019?

DOH advises the public to:

    • Practice frequent and proper handwashing,
    • Practice proper cough etiquette
      1. Always bring a handkerchief/tissue
      2. Cover mouth and nose using handkerchief/tissue (sleeves or crook of the elbow may also be used to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing)
      3. Move away from people when coughing
      4. Do not spit
      5. Throw away used tissues properly
      6. Always wash your hands after sneezing or coughing
      7. Use alcohol/sanitizer
      8. Avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals
      9. Ensure that food is well-cooked
      10. Maintain a healthy lifestyle to mount up immunity

9. Who should be immediately investigated and tested for the COVID-2019 infection?

The following should be immediately investigated and tested for nCoV:

      1. A person with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), fever and cough, and with at least one of the following:
        1. history of travel to or lived in Wuhan in the 10-14 days prior to symptom onset;
        2. A health worker who has been working in an environment where patients with severe acute respiratory infections are being cared for, without regard to place of residence or history of travel;
      2. A person with acute respiratory infection (ARI) and fulfilling at least one of the following criteria within the 14 days prior to onset of illness: 
        1. Close contact with a confirmed or probable case
        2. visit/work in a live animal market in Wuhan
        3. Work/attend a health facility where patients with HAI-associated COVID-2019 reported.

10. Are there any travel restrictions to be observed?

There are no travel restrictions recommended as of the moment. Currently, the transmission potential and modes of transmission remain unclear. Hence, we advise those who will travel to affected areas to avoid crowded places, close contact with live or wild animals, and to observe handwashing and cough etiquette. DOH is in close coordination with the WHO and the China Center for Disease Control on developments and updates regarding travel advisories.

11. Where can the public get information about the COVID-2019?

The public can get information about the 2019-nCoV from the DOH’s and WHO’s official press releases, website, and official social media platforms. Please be wary of fake news and reports circulating online, and always verify the sources of your information.

12. What are the DOH and other concerned agencies doing to contain the situation?

The Department of Health is closely monitoring individuals who manifested signs of respiratory infection and had a history of travel to China, and is coordinating with WHO and China Center for Disease Control for updates.
DOH is also enhancing its coronavirus laboratory testing capacity, hospital preparedness, rapid response, and its risk communication and information dissemination. Personal Protective Equipment are made available at the Bureau of Quarantine, Centers for Health Development, and DOH Hospitals.

The Bureau of Quarantine, meanwhile, is working with airlines and airport authorities to strengthen border surveillance, while the Epidemiology Bureau is heightening its community surveillance.

For more updates about the Covid-19, click here.

This advisory is prompted by information received from the Department of Health. All information listed above are generated by the DoH.

The Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) Inc. with support from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME) is organizing the 17th National Medical Writing Workshop and 10th Writeshop for Young Researchers on  30-31 March 2020 in Tacloban City. The workshop aims to help young investigators in health and health social sciences acquire practical knowledge and skills in preparing a scientific article for publication in a scholarly peer-reviewed journal. Successful applicants will be granted free workshop registration, accommodation, and meals during the workshop, and will be assigned to a mentor-facilitator who will guide them in preparing their articles for a brief presentation.

Requirements for participants

The workshop is designed for a maximum of forty (40) researchers in health sciences and health social sciences, aged 40 years old and below, who have a research project completed not more than 2 years ago and have drafted a publication-ready manuscript of maximum 2,500 - 3,000 words, formatted for submission to a scholarly biomedical journal. Note that thesis, dissertations, and technical reports in original format and length do not qualify. 

The selected draft manuscripts will be reviewed and revised during the workshop, based on the lectures and exercises, under the guidance of the faculty and mentor – facilitators. All participants are expected to present a powerpoint summary of their revised manuscripts on the second day of the workshop and agree to submit the article to an appropriate scholarly peer-reviewed journal within three (3) months after the workshop.


Applicants should send the following requirements via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on or before January 31, 2020.

  1. Fill out the application form. (Link:
  2. Conforme slip
  3. Abstract (in .docx and .pdf format)
  4. Draft of Journal Manuscript (in .docx and .pdf format) 
  5. Instructions to Authors for the target journal (This is a free document downloadable from the website of your prospective journal.)


Please use this subject format in your email: Application_17th Writeshop_(Surname)
Please save your documents in this format:


  • Conforme Slip_(Surname)
  • Abstract_(Surname)
  • Manuscript_(Surname)
  • ITA_(Surname)


Application deadline: January 31, 2020
REGISTRATION IS FREE (limited slots only)

The results of the selection of participants for the Workshop will be communicated on February 10, 2020.


  • Selected participants are responsible for their travel arrangements.
  • Selected participants must show their paid ticket details on or before March 9, 2020, to reserve a slot in the workshop.


Should you have any concern, do not hesitate to contact Ms. Christine Alayon (e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; tel. no.: (02) 8-837-7534 loc. 204). 



The PEER program provides an extraordinary opportunity to promote research cooperation between the Philippines and researchers funded by or based at nine US federal science agencies including: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Smithsonion Institution, US Forest Service (USFS), Agriculture Research Service (ARS), and US Geological Survey (USGS).


The PEER program is designed to support research projects in USAID countries which address local and global development challenges.

The PEER Cycle 9 Funding Opportunities for Philippine researchers include:

  • Any development-related research
  • Family Planning and Reproductive Health
  • Social, Economic, and Behavioral Sciences

The application deadline to submit a brief pre-proposal to the PEER program is on February 10, 2020. For additional info, applicants are encouraged to consult

Reposted from
Written by Lyn Resurreccion

THE first anti-dengue medicine in the world may be available by end of next year. And, also significant, it is made by Filipino researchers in the Philippines.

Dr. Rita Grace Y. Alvero, program leader of the dengue herbal clinical trial from Pharmalytics Corp., told the “Talakayang HeaRTbeat” on Monday that the researchers from Pharmalytics and De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute have concluded Phase 1 of the clinical trial for the drug against dengue that they got from three plant components. They are hopeful that it will be approved for marketing by the end of 2020.

“We have completed the preclinical testing. We have completed the safety analysis in animals. We are now in the human testing. We have just concluded the Phase 1 clinical trial. [Based on] our findings, there was no dose-limiting toxicity,” Alvero said, partly in Filipino.

She explained that the last cohort, or people who took the medicine, took 106 capsules of 400 mg of its three plant components and no toxicity was observed.

“We will probably start Phase 2 and Phase 3 by the first quarter of next year. We will end by the third quarter. [Then] we will apply for marketing authorization. Hopefully, by the end of 2020, the anti-dengue drug may be out [in the market],” Alvero explained in citing the details of the process of making the drug.

Her announcement was met with a round of applause from Department of Science and Technology (DOST) officials, including Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara and Director Dr. Jaime Montoya of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), and experts Dr. Gisela Concepcion of University of the Philippines-Diliman, Dr. Irene Villaseñor of UP Diliman and Dr. Renato Reyes of Central Luzon State University, who were present during the forum.

She clarified that it will not be a herbal supplement.

“It is a drug. That means it has a scientific basis to back up the efficacy of the anti-dengue drug,” Alvero explained.

De la Peña quipped: “That will be her [Alvero’s] Christmas gift [to us] next year.”

Montoya said he is “very excited” with the developments in making the anti-dengue drug.

“It is the very first in its class. No country, even the US, has an anti-dengue drug produced. We are looking forward to this,” he said.

The dengue drug project by Alvero started in 2012, for a processing period of eight years.

The dengue research was part of the DOST’s Tuklas Lunas program to produce reliable and affordable medicines sourced from the country’s rich biodiversity.

De la Peña said Tuklas Lunas has 28 centers all over the country and 28 research-implementing institutions. A total of P1.5 billion was invested in the program since it started in 2011.

Besides the anti-dengue drug being developed by Pharmalytics and De La Salle, a herbal supplement against dengue was developed by Herbanext Laboratories.

Herbanext’s herbal supplement from tawa-tawa, under the Daily Apple brand name, was released in August at the height of the dengue epidemic in the country.

Guevara said, “As we continue our path [on] the future of medicine development, DOST wishes to honor our Filipino knowledge and traditions in healing combined with the modern discoveries of research and development. This knowledge is a gift from our ancestors. As such, it will be a guide to learn from past mistakes, open new doors to discovery and provide us with courage to face the future. In this we hope for a tomorrow that will enable our countrymen to have cheap, safe, effective and easily accessible medicines.”

For his part, Montoya said, “We are very optimistic that this will happen. We have the best scientists, we have a rich biodiversity, which is the source of these natural medicines, and we have the support of the government, the Council and the department [DOST]. We have the best pool of scientists, of experts.”

He added: “We are very hopeful and optimistic that in the next few years, we are coming up with the very promising, very effective, affordable and safe drugs that will address the leading causes of morbidity and mortality [in the country].”


Sources: by: CJ M. Gonzales

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) thru the Cagayan Valley Health Research and Development Consortium (CVHRDC) conducted its final training on basic Research Methods for this year at N-Hall, University of Saint Louis Tuguegarao last July 3-5, 2019.

During the opening ceremonies, Rev. Father Renillo H. Sta. Ana, University president immediately challenged the participants to improve the quality of health researches in the region by incorporating what they’ve learned from the three-day training.

“We do research for knowledge and truth. We do knowledge for mission and excellence.”, Fr. Renillo stressed as he concluded his message.

The 60 participants from different high schools, state universities, higher education institutions, and regional line agencies were tasked to draft a proposal concerning the pressing health issues of today.

The draft research proposals such as Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, Mental Health, Heavy Metal and Microbial Detection, Neglected Tropical Diseases, and Immunization were presented and panned during the training.

Meanwhile, presented proposals shall be improved and edited by the proponents to be submitted on August to the Technical Review Board for evaluation and endorsement of funding.

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