Know the Enemy: Ways to Fight COVID-19

In order to win this battle against COVID-19, we have to know our enemy,” Dr. Josefina Isidro-Lapeña of the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) says in the first installment of the webinar “WE Can!! Kuwentong Komunidad sa Kalusugan ukol sa COVID-19” last 17 April 2020. 

With the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, Dr. Lapeña shared the best practices that will help prevent the spread of the virus and minimize its risk. She discussed a two-pronged approach in fighting COVID-19: 1) practicing proper hygiene to prevent the virus from coming in, and 2) boosting the immune system to build the body’s capacity to defeat the virus. 

As a highly communicable disease, Dr. Lapeña described the immune system as our own soldier against COVID-19. To strengthen our capacity to fight the infection, she reiterated the importance of the following:

  • Balanced Diet. Following the “Pinggang Pinoy” guideline for each meal, as recommended by the DOST - Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), half of each plate should consist of glow foods (fruits, vegetables), 1/6 for grow foods while the remainder of the plate should be allocated for go foods.
  • Adequate Rest and Exercise. As recommended by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), an individual aged 18 to 60 years old should at least have 7 hours of sleep a day and 150 minutes of exercise a week. 
  • Love, Care and Support. Despite the limited means of communication with loved ones, especially in times of quarantine, Dr. Lapeña highlighted that the feeling of constant support and care from loved ones can help boost an individual’s immune system. In the same way, she underscored that feelings of discrimination or isolation can also weaken the immune system.

Dr. Lapeña also reiterated the importance of regular and proper handwashing, disinfection of materials or clothes, and wearing face masks or face shields, among others. 

By following Dr. Lapeña’s reminders, even our simple actions can contribute to defeating COVID-19. Her full presentation may be accessed here:

Replays of the webinar may be accessed through this link:, and are scheduled as follows:

  • April 20, 2020 (Monday) - 9:00 AM, 12:00 NN, 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 9:00 PM
  • April 21, 2020 (Tuesday) - 9:00 AM, 12:00 NN, 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 9:00 PM
  • April 22, 2020 (Wednesday) - 9:00 AM, 12:00 NN, 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 9:00 PM

This webinar series is hosted by the Ateneo de Manila University - Institute of Philippine Culture (ADMU-IPC) in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).