To help policymakers create better and evidence-based strategies in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipino researchers are investigating the coronavirus transmission patterns among confirmed cases and their contacts in the country. 

A study is now underway which will yield data on transmission dynamics, secondary infection rate, and clinical attack rate of the disease among close contacts and symptomatic proportion of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

The study will use samples from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in its aim to supply the Department of Health useful data which can improve national efforts in case isolation, contact tracing, and disease control and prevention.

The project is led by Dr. Mayan U. Lumandas of RITM and is funded by the Department of Science and Technology through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD). 

Aside from virus transmission patterns, three ongoing research projects on COVID-19 are also being supported by the Council, one of which is the COVID-19 detection kit created by the UP National Institutes of Health which is expected to be distributed to various healthcare facilities by the end of March. 

A web- and mobile-based surveillance and response tool called FASSSTER is also being enhanced to visualize real-time updates on the numbers of COVID-19-related information in the country. 

Lastly, DOST-PCHRD is also supporting research that tests the antiviral properties of lauric acid and its derivatives against coronavirus.

For more details on PCHRD-supported projects on COVID-19, you may visit

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