(File photo)

MANILA – The government continues to recruit participants for the Avigan clinical trials in the country, a health official said Monday.

"As of Dec. 7, may 16 participants na na-recruit, na-screen at na-enroll dun sa study. Mayroon tayong nine active participants kung saan (There are 16 recruited participants, [they] were screened and enrolled to the study. There are nine active participants, of which,) five have already completed the trial while two have withdrawn," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during an online media forum.

Japan's anti-flu drug Avigan is considered a potential treatment against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Vergeire reported that the recruitment of trial participants is ongoing as it requires the involvement of more than 100 people.

In November, the protocol requirements in enrolling trial participants have been eased to enlist more people in Avigan clinical trials in the country.

The revised protocol allowed the participation of patients with Covid-19, those classified with or without pneumonia, and not on high-flow oxygen support.

"Ang study sites natin ngayon (Our study sites now) like what we've mentioned previously Philippine General Hospital, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Jose N. Reyes Memorial Hospital and Santa Ana Hospital," Vergeire said. (PNA)