RITM: ‘Reserve’ face masks to those who really need it

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 4, 2020   •   601

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is not recommending the general public to wear face masks, saying it should be “reserved for those who really need it”.

In a press conference in Malacañang on Monday (February 3), RITM Director Celia Carlos said the wearing of face masks is recommended for health workers and people with respiratory illness.

“There is now a current shortage of this valuable commodity and let us give them to those who need them most, especially the health workers,” she said.

“Currently, since there is no community transmission of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines, we are not recommending its use for the general public who do not have respiratory symptoms,” she added.

Instead, the health official advised the public to practice proper hygiene by regularly washing their hands. She also advised people to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands or unwashed hands.

“We need to observe good hand hygiene and we need to eat and drink from safe, clean and reliable sources,” she said.—AAC

Beat the heat: How to prevent heat exhaustion, heat stroke

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 5, 2020

Metro Manila recorded the highest air temperature so far on Monday (May 4).

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) recorded a soaring 36.5 degrees Celsius or an equivalent to a heat index of 41.0 degrees Celsius

With the intense heat and the ongoing enhanced community quarantine, anyone can suffer from heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion is a condition marked by weakness, nausea, dizziness, and profuse sweating that results from physical exertion in a hot environment.

Emergency Doctor Dr. Rich Santos said heat exhaustion can result in heat stroke. Heat stroke happens when an individual’s temperature reaches 41 degrees Celsius.

“Pwede ring magkaroon ng manifestation na nagkakaroon ka ng totoong stroke gaya ng paghina ng katawan. Kapag tumagal ka sa ganoong kundisyon pwede itong maging sanhi ng pagkamatay, (You can also have manifestations of a real stroke like fatigue. If the condition lasts if might become a cause of death)” he said.

Santos also said that recovering from a heat stroke can take weeks to months.

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Very high fever of 41°C
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Convulsion
  • Unconsciousness

Here are several lifesaving tips when someone is having heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

  • Move the person to a shady spot or indoors
  • Have him/her lie down with legs elevated
  • If able to drink liquids, have him/her sip cool water
  • Remove clothing, apply cool water to the skin, & fan the person
  • Apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles & groin

The Department of Health (DOH) said to always keep hydrated to prevent heat exhaustion and schedule heavy-duty activities for the beginning or end of the day, when it’s cooler. AAC

RITM receives additional COVID-19 funding from France

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 1, 2020

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has received additional funding from the French government for its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response.

In a post, the Embassy of France to the Philippines said the French government has allocated 2 million euros or an estimate of P109.4 million to support the COVID-19 responses of seven frontline laboratories located in five Southeast Asian countries.

One of the beneficiaries include the RITM in the Philippines.

“Within the framework of this funding, seven laboratories will benefit from direct support for the response phase of the COVID-19 epidemic for the following aspects: reinforcement of equipment, purchase of diagnostic kits, acquisition of personal protective equipment, reinforcement in human resources, training and transfer of skills, deployment of mass testing complementing current molecular diagnosis, and support for data processing,” the French Embassy said in a statement.

Other countries who benefited from the additional fund include Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. AAC

RITM: 38 staff recover from COVID-19, 7 others still in quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on Tuesday announced that 38 of the 45 personnel who tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have now recovered from the illness.

RITM Celia Carlos said the 38 staff members have since reported back to work after testing negative for the virus.

The remaining seven employees are still under quarantine but are already in stable condition with mild symptoms, she added.

The RITM said it has tested 1,280 of its personnel following reports of its staff members contracting the viral respiratory disease. Around 1,000 of them have already received their test results.

The remaining 280 with pending test results are asymptomatic and are currently being monitored, it added.

The RITM recently scaled down operations after some of its staff contracted the virus. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.