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Covid-19 nasal spray gives hope for better days ahead

While freedom of speech is one of the basic tenets of democracy, it also comes with a certain level of responsibility

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THE country is now possibly entering the “endgame” of the Delta variant as the Covid-19 reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) dropped to 1.11, according to the OCTA Research Team.

The government, particularly the Health department, agreed, saying there are indications the virus infections nationwide may be on a downward trend, as the number of cases went down to 15,992 last Wednesday, which is significantly lower than the over 20,000 cases recorded daily in past weeks.

The government claimed the granular lockdown seems to be working as cases in Metro Manila show a decreasing trend. With this development, the President also announced the possible holding of face-to-face classes in about 120 selected schools in areas where the infection is low.

The President also said the wearing of face shields is no longer necessary in open areas, except where there are close contacts, such as hospitals, where infections are high.

With the country’s sufficient level of Covid-19 vaccinations and low death rate for immunized individuals, among others, are we seeing a better Christmas this year?

On top of these good news, the medical community continues to find ways to fight the spread of the virus. Recently, reports surfaced that an antiviral pill is now entering its third cycle of clinical trial.

Also, a potentially more effective vaccine in the form of a nasal spray has emerged, which is expected to ease the burden and load of our health care professionals. While administering vaccines is usually done in a hospital setting, nasal sprays and antiviral pills can be self-administered in the comfort of our homes.

Covid-19 vaccines in non-injectable form are also helpful for individuals suffering from trypanophobia, or fear of injections and individuals with blood clotting problems.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently eight different Covid-19 nasal sprays undergoing clinical trials. Leading the progress on the said trials and currently in the second phase are China’s Xiamen University, University of Hong Kong and the Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy.

SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus which commonly and naturally enters the host’s body through the nasal passage. This is also the basic explanation why reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests are done through nasal swabs.

As elaborated by Lille Pasteur Institute researcher Nathalie Mielcarek, since SARS-CoV-2 usually enters through the nose, the use of Covid-19 nasal sprays will serve as a means to shut down the entry point of the virus.

An article published by the Scientific American in March believes the use of the nasal spray will trigger the production of immunoglobulin A, an antibody that can block the infection.

Mielcarek further explained the Covid-19 nasal spray will also help in lowering the viral load of an infected individual. This decreases the risk that the infection will spread down into the lungs, thus resulting in fewer severe cases.

While governments, health care professionals, and scientists are working hard toward a common goal of pushing for global economic recovery, it is unfortunate there are still some people who refuse to acknowledge the reality we are in. They choose to downplay the situation, refusing to be vaccinated — a decision tantamount to blatant disregard of the sacrifices of the people at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar issued a statement calling for a group of anti-vaxxers to respect the belief of the majority of the Filipinos the same way the PNP is respecting theirs. He also warned against violation of minimum public health and safety protocols during protest activities.

In support, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said police investigators are trying to identify the protesters for the possibility of filing charges on grounds of violation of health protocols.

While freedom of speech is one of the basic tenets of democracy, it also comes with a certain level of responsibility. The ideas and positions held by protestors and opinion leaders should be based on science and facts.

We’re at a critical time where everybody’s health and safety are at risk. Our government and health care workers are dedicating their lives to this fight. Seeing anti-vaxxers protesting without masks is really disheartening.

To date, we already lost at least 37,000 lives. How many more lives do we need to lose for these people to believe that Covid-19 is real, deadly, and spares no one?

Let’s do our part to save our nation and bring back the luster of our economy. Let’s help ease the burden of our HCW, and hope many of our businesses that have been affected by this pandemic can recover soon, and for us to have a better Christmas this year.

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