40 RITM staff positive for COVID-19

Published April 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By MB Online

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) disclosed on Monday that 40 of its staff have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Test tube with Corona virus name label is seen in this illustration picture. (REUTERS / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Test tube with Corona virus name label is seen in this illustration picture. (REUTERS / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Most of the infected staff were asymptomatic while under quarantine at the RITM’s dormitory, RITM director Dr. Celia Carlos said in a report from GMA News.

She said the operation of the institute had to be scaled down due to the disinfection procedures.

The first to contract the infection was an office staff who tested positive last April 4.

“Parang office work ang trabaho niya, so nung nag-i-investigate kami sa kaniya, parang from the community niya nga na-acquire ‘yung infection tapos nahawaan na lang niya ‘yung ibang tao,” Carlos said.

(The person was doing an office work, so when we conducted an investigation, it looks like the infection was acquired from a community and he brought the infection to his fellow workers.)

Several of the staff have tested positive despite being asymptomatic, Carlos said.

She said it is hard to determine who among the staff acquired the COVID-19 from the workplace or from their community.

“Marami pong exposures ‘yung mga na-infect (the infected staff had many exposures), like there were people who were going to the market after office [or] go with friends outside after office, so medyo hindi po clear kung paano nila na-acquire so wala po kaming conclusion doon (It is not yet clear how they acquired the virus, so we don’t yet have a conclusion),” she said.

The staff who are showing symptoms will be discharged from quarantine after they test negative for COVID-19 twice, while asymptomatic staff will need to complete the 14-day self-isolation.

The health research facility is the country’s main facility for testing samples from patients suspected to be infected with COVID-19.

 
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