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DOH denies social media posts RITM has stopped COVID-19 testing

/ 07:37 PM March 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) denied on Tuesday that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City has stopped processing tests for the coronavirus disease, contrary to some social media posts.

“Isang paalala lang po mula sa amin na maging maingat sa pagpapakalat ng impormasyon. May mga kumalat na balita na tumigil na raw mag-test ang RITM dahil sa biosafety hazards. Hindi po ito totoo. Tuluy-tuloy ang pagte-test ng RITM ng samples,” Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said in a televised press briefing.

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(We want to remind everyone to be careful in sharing information. There are pieces of information circulating that the RITM has stopped processing tests because of biosafety standards. This is not true. The RITM continues to test samples [from patients].)

She also advised the public to fact check posts they see on social media and to rely only on credible sources of information, emphasizing the importance of these actions in a time of crisis.

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“Buhay at kaligtasan ang nakasalalay sa bawat click at share natin sa (Life and safety are at risk in our every click and share on) social media. Let us all be responsible when we use social media,” she said.

RITM is one of the five subnational laboratories of the DOH that can process tests for patients suspected of having the coronavirus disease. The other laboratories are the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, DoH, RITM
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