THE Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the country’s main testing center for Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), scaled down its operations after one of its staff was infected by the virus, the Department of Health said on Wednesday.
“They had to do contact tracing and some of these employees na kasama natin na gumagawa sa lab ay na-quarantine sila (who are with us in the lab were quarantined),” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, also concurrent spokesman.
She added that the institute’s two reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines bogged down.
Vergeire said that they were now coordinating with the Philippine Red Cross and other testing laboratories near RITM to assist in the testing backlog.
But Vergeire reiterated that while RITM has scaled down its operations, they will continue to do tests on their own patients.
In April, 40 personnel of RITM tested positive for Covid-19.