MANILA

DOH: No 'immunity passport' for Covid-19 survivors

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THE Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, July 17, 2020, reminded those who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) that there is no “immunity passport” for them.

"Whoever has had Covid-19 before, we can still have Covid-19. That is what the evidence indicate," Vergeire said in a virtual press conference Friday.

"Even the World Health Organization (WHO) is saying that if one tests positive of Covid-19 already, the chances of you having it again remains," she added.

She said, however, that they were open to claims that Covid-19 patients develop the necessary antibodies to resist the virus for at least three months.

"Those claims of antibodies, immunity passports are also included in our discussions. But we will also need guidance from the WHO and experiences of other countries because we don't have much experience of that sort from our patients here," she said.

"As of now, it would be difficult to confirm articles and evidence that antibodies for Covid-19 supposedly last for about two to three months. It is still undergoing studies," she added.

Vergeire also struck down 11 "fake news" about Covid-19 circulating on social media and through text messages. She reiterated DOH's recommendations, as follows:

1. The use of thermal scanner to check body temperature is safe and should be continued. There is no scientific basis for reports that its use will harm the brain.

2. Budesonide should not be taken without a doctor's prescription. It is a medicine approved for use as treatment of asthma, not Covid-19.

3. DOH does not recommend aerial spraying on people. There is no plan to conduct aerial spraying in communities.

4. Steam inhalation therapy, or "tuob", is discouraged, as is drinking water infused with lemon or salt. Tuob can instead cause burn injuries. Covid-19 patients should consult doctors and healthcare workers on how to manage their symptoms.

5. Do not self-medicate. Dexamethasone does not kill Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. It is used only for critically ill and intubated patients.

6. DOH does not recommend gargling with lukewarm water mixed with vinegar or salt. This can provide only temporary relief and has not been proven to cure Covid-19.

7. Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria. The WHO has stopped its use as experimental treatment for Covid-19.

8. Do not reuse soiled surgical masks. Instead, throw these away and wash your hands after.

9. Use soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer with 70-percent alcohol to clean your hands. Do not use Tanduay mixed with Zonrox, which contains bleach that could be harmful to your skin.

10. Hot lemon juice with honey and aspirin does not cure Covid-19. Do not self-medicate.

11. Onions contain allicin that can fight bacteria, but there has been no study showing that it can fight Covid-19 which is caused by a virus.

Vergeire stressed that no cure has been found for Covid-19. (MVI/HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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