The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has started distributing virgin coconut oil (VCO) to hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) to serve as an adjunctive treatment for mild cases of COVID-19.
VCO Philippines president and United Coconut Associations of the Philippines vice chairman engineer Marco Reyes said VCO Philippines has coordinated with IATF vice chairman and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles for the donation of VCO that will be distributed by the IATF to Level 1 or most basic hospitals in the NCR, epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Reyes added the VCO Philippines’ move will hopefully be the start of the national government’s strong push to promote VCO as a prophylaxis or part of preventive healthcare, if not an outright adjunctive cure, for mild COVID-19 cases.
He had earlier expressed the frustration of local VCO makers on the seeming silence of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Health (DOH) on the benefits of VCO in preventing and potentially curing COVID-19, as other dubious cures such as ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, for animals, has become a health concern as some people use it a prophylactic agent or treatment for COVID-19.
“VCO must always be a part of every supplementation strategy for COVID-19. First, because it is completely safe. Second, because it is effective, at the least and, as of now, for mild symptoms as per DOST trials,” Reyes said.
The DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) had conducted a study that successfully showed that the mixture of VCO in meals of suspected and probable COVID-19 cases in Santa Rosa City, Laguna helped in their recovery.
The DOST-FNRI study, which was released on Dec. 3 and which entailed the provision of healthy meals mixed with VCO to 57 suspected and probable COVID-19 cases confined at the Santa Rosa Community Hospital and Santa Rosa Community Isolation Units, showed that all the participants recovered and tested negative for COVID-19 at the end of the 28-day clinical trials.
“The VCO group of patients who were served meals with VCO showed no COVID-19 related symptoms at Day 18, while symptoms persisted in some patients of the control group of patients who were served the same meals without VCO until Day 23,” DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said during a briefing.