Secretary Fortunato dela Peña gave assurance that the Department of Science and Technology is ready to provide assistance to pharmaceutical firms Janssen and Clover Biopharmaceuticals in identifying areas where they could hold clinical trials for their respective candidate COVID-19 vaccines.
Dela Peña said they would do the trial zone identification once the two firms signify their readiness to start the clinical trials, noting that this process has to be updated often because COVID-19 cases change every day in different localities.
He explained, “The incidence of COVID cases should be high at that particular time.”
The DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development and the Ateneo Center for Computing Competency and Research developed a web-based disease surveillance tool to do a smart and efficient identification of COVID-19 hotspots in the country. Started in 2016, it was initially used as a disease surveillance system against the dengue virus.