RITM: 38 personnel fully recover from coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines – The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on Tuesday, April 28, announced the full recovery of 38 its personnel who had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The RITM said in a statement that 7 other staff members with COVID-19 remained in quarantine and were reportedly in stable condition and had mild to no symptoms.
According to the RITM, it has tested 1,280 of its personnel from April 18 to 24, and that 1,000 have already received their results.
The recovered patients and those who tested negative for the virus have since returned to work.
“There are many who rely on our expertise as a National Reference Laboratory and tertiary hospital specializing in emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, but we will only be able to fully commit to our mandate if our employees are duly valued and protected,” said RITM Director Celia Carlos.
In a press briefing on Tuesday morning, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the RITM is gradually getting back to its original testing capacity.
"They're still trying to gradually increase their output. When they scaled down, they were changing some processes to prevent its health workers from being infected," Vergeire said in a mix of English and Filipino.
On April 21, the RITM said that several of its employees contracted the virus, prompting it to scale down of the country's main testing center for the virus.
The DOH said on April 23 that the country's testing capacity for coronavirus went down to 2,700 from 4,000 after several personnel of the RITM contracted the virus. The DOH said it was targetting 8,000 tests per day by the end of April.
As of Monday, April 27, a total of 1,245 health workers in the country tested positive for coronavirus, many of them doctors and nurses.
At least 27 medical workers have died from COVID-19 – 21 doctors, and 6 nurses.
As of Monday, April 27, the Philippines recorded 7,777 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 511 deaths and 932 recoveries. – Rappler.com