As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country continues to rise, a government agency in the Philippines has urged local pharmaceutical companies to work closely with Chinese and Taiwanese firms to manufacture a possible vaccine for COVID-19.

The possible collaboration was confirmed by the Philippines' Science Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, who confirmed that members of the country's Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases met with representatives of 11 local companies that are involved in the research and development of a vaccine for the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus testing in U.S. Pixabay

Manufacturing A Potential Vaccine Locally

According to the agency head, the country is currently coordinating with five Chinese and Taiwanese biopharmaceutical firms regarding the development of a possible vaccine. These companies include the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sinopharm, Sinovac Biotech, Academia Sinica and AdImmune. Once any of these companies is able to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, a special partnership will enable local pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines to begin manufacturing it for mass consumption.

Dela Peña noted that Manila is currently trying to convince the foreign biopharmaceutical companies to provide the local firms with the necessary manufacturing licenses for a potential vaccine. "DOST is currently negotiating for the outsourcing of possible (manufacture of) vaccine candidates for the country through the international bilateral partners that we have," Dela Peña said in a statement, according to the Philippine Star.

Coronavirus research Vitamin D
Coronavirus (Representational Image) IANS

Current Status Of COVID-19 In The Philippines

Having a local manufacturing facility for a possible vaccine would enable the country to recover faster from the effects of the current outbreak caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the latest report provided by the country's Department for Health, the number of people who have already died due to COVID-19 has already reached 1,103.

As for the country's number of recoveries, the agency noted that it has reached 6,552. Currently, there are 19,126 active cases in the country. In total, 26,781 people in the Philippines have been directly affected by the coronavirus.