RITM labs surpass quarter-million COVID-19 tests

MUNTINLUPA CITY – The Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) testing laboratories hit quarter of a million COVID-19 tests with 251,583 samples processed since 20th of January.

“This milestone is largely possible through the dedication and commitment of our Laboratory Research Division. To date, we have deployed more than 500 laboratory personnel who tirelessly work across 12-hour shifts daily,” said RITM Director Celia Carlos.

With the surging number of cases, RITM has activated three testing streams involving several departments and reference laboratories to accommodate specimens within its catchment areas in the National Capital Region (NCR), Region 4A, and Region 4B.

“We test a total of 2,000 to 2,500 nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens per day. This is part of our institutional augmented response where laboratory departments are collaborating to deliver and perform heightened COVID-19 testing,” explained Dr. Carlos.

As of September 8, RITM has tested 251,583 samples which correspond to 210,031 individuals. To further expand the COVID-19 testing capacity of the country, RITM is likewise heavily involved in the evaluation of applicant laboratories across all 17 regions. As of September 4, the Institute has assisted in the accreditation of 117 rRT-PCR and catridge-based PCR labs.