Duterte tells FDA, DOST to work 24 hours amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) - President Rodrigo Duterte told the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to operate 24 hours amid the pandemic crisis.

With this, Duterte also asked both agencies to increase their workforces.

“I have authorized, itong both na opisina, yung FDA and DOST, to employ as much as many required para magmadalian and to enable the agencies to work day and night. Sabi ko we are fighting a war here,” said Duterte in a late Monday night address.

[Translation: I have authorized both offices of FDA and DOST to employ as much as many required, so they can work faster and to enable both agencies to work day and night. I said we are fighting a war here.]

FDA is in charge of assessing detection kits for COVID-19 as well as possible medicines for coronavirus disease. Meanwhile, DOST is working on developing possible remedies against viral infection.

READ: DOST: Coconut oil clinical trials for COVID-19 patients get committee nod

Duterte requested the two agencies to hire more medical technologists and other healthcare professionals.

“So magdagdag kayo ng maraming medtech o yung mga kaga-graduate na doktor na naghihintay pa lang ng results [ng board exam], or anybody from the health services, if you want to give your services, volunteer,” he said.

[Translation: So you hire more medical technologists or fresh graduate doctors who are still waiting for the board exam results, or anybody from the health services, if you want to give your services, volunteer.]

The Department of Health (D)H) said early this month it is eyeing to hire at most 8,000 health workers to beef up the manpower in health facilities and quarantine sites.

The national interagency task force on COVID-19 said DOH also formulate a guideline on hiring new graduates from medical schools to help in the frontlines.