The COVID-19 Achievement Report chronicles the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) response to the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2021. At the forefront of the country’s response to emerging infectious diseases, both in terms of laboratory and patient care services, the first cases of COVID-19 were admitted at the Institute, and other hospitals follow suit once management protocols were in place.
Not only is the RITM at the helm of COVID-19 testing in the Philippines, the Institute is also actively involved in a number of complementary initiatives during the outbreak response.
Similarly, RITM is also involved in the activation of other government and private laboratories to test for COVID-19 by lending its expertise in the technical evaluation of laboratory infrastructure, staff proficiency, and compliance to international biosafety and biosecurity standards for molecular biology laboratories.
The Institute also commenced the conduct and facilitation of training programs and capacity-building activities on COVID-19 testing. To further increase the testing capacity of the country, RITM also evaluated PCR-based and rapid antibody test kits in collaboration with the Food and Drug Authority of the Philippines (FDA).
The multi-faceted role of RITM in the COVID-19 outbreak initiatives demonstrate the Institute’s desire to serve a strongly-coordinated national response.