38 RITM staff recover from COVID-19

MUNTINLUPA CITY—The number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases among the workforce of the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) have reached a total of 45 last week. As of 27 April, however, 84.44%, or 38 individuals, have fully recovered. While seven staff remain In quarantine, they are reportedly in a stable condition who present mild to no symptoms.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 among its ranks, the Institute earlier announced a scale down on its laboratory operations to prioritize the disinfection of its facilities, and the medical checkup and testing of its staff. “There are many who rely on our expertise as a National Reference Laboratory and tertiary hospital specializing in emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, but we will only be able to fully commit to our mandate if our employees are duly valued and protected,” said Director Celia Carlos.

RITM has tested 1,280 of its personnel from April 18 to 24 where 1,000 have already received their results. Individuals with pending advise from the Employee Health Services of the Institute remain asymptomatic and are currently under strict monitoring.

Recovered staff and those who tested negative have since reported back to work. In relation to this, Dr. Carlos has expressed her gratitude on the outpour of public support after news broke out about the cluster of infection within RITM grounds. “On behalf of the RITM family, I would like to thank the public for their understanding, kindness, support, and prayers. Indeed, there is no need for communities to discriminate or fear us, as we have humbly served—and will continue to serve—the Filipino people despite all adversities. We are doing all that we can, as a family with shared hardships and a connected history, to curtail the impact of our struggles from spreading to other aspects of our social relationships and obligations,” she said.