40 RITM employees test positive for COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2020 07:33 PM

MANILA - Around 40 employees of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

RITM Director Dr. Celia Carlos on Monday said an employee tested positive last April 4. They then conducted contact tracing and tested those who were exposed to their first case.

"We had 1 staff noong April 4 na na-test na COVID-positive. So we started contact tracing noong na-expose sa kaniya. Kahit wala namang symptoms 'yung mga na-expose, some of them turned out positive also," Carlos told DZMM.

(We had 1 staff noong April 4 na na-test na COVID-positive. So we started contact tracing for those who were exposed to the patient. Some of those exposed tested positive even without showing symptoms.)

RITM is among the Philippines' biggest COVID-19 testing centers.

Carlos said most of the first cases in RITM got infected in the community.

"Noong nag-investigate kami sa kaniya, parang sa community niya nakuha," she said.

(When we investigated, it showed that the patient got infected in the community.)

Most of the employees who tested positive are also asymptomatic and are staying under quarantine in the RITM dormitory.

"Karamihan nga po walang symptoms, nandito lang sa dorms namin naka-quarantine," Carlos said.

(Most of the cases do not show symptoms, they are under quarantine in our dorms.)

Those who exhibited symptoms have to undergo repeat tests, while those who are asymptomatic would just have to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

"'Yung symptomatic may repeat test, yung asymptomatic, tinatapos lang yung 14-day quarantine," Carlos said.

(Those who are symptomatic must undergo repeat tests, while those who are asymptomatic just have to finish the 14-day quarantine.)

As of Monday, the novel coronavirus has so far infected 6,459 people in the country, with 428 deaths and 613 recoveries.

-- Report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News