Philippine Red Cross

RITM: Red Cross’ COVID-19 tests ‘valid, reliable’

Bonz Magsambol

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RITM: Red Cross’ COVID-19 tests ‘valid, reliable’

RT-PCR COVID-19 swab booth at the Philippine Red Cross in Mandaluyong City on Thursday, September 24, 2020.

Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

The Philippine Red Cross says it is 'grateful to the RITM for its unbiased investigation into the matter'

The Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) said that it found no evidence into allegations by President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies at the House of Represensatives that COVID-19 tests administered by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in its Subic laboratory yielded false positive results.

In a Facebook post on Monday, October 18, the PRC shared the letter written by Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago which said that RITM did not find evidence of contamination for the 48 samples tested in Subic.

“The RITM found no evidence of contamination for the 48 cases tested by the PRC Subic laboratory and the results were found to be valid and reliable,” the letter read.

The RITM completed its investigation on October 13 but the results were only made public on Monday.

‘Grateful to unbiased investigation’

In response, the PRC said in a statement that it was “grateful to the RITM for its unbiased investigation into the matter.”

“As it is auxiliary to the government, they full support its testing and vaccination program,” the PRC said.

RITM is an attached agency of the DOH. It is the main coronavirus testing center in the Philippines.

The PRC said that their organization was a “victim of unsubstantiated allegations in recent months.”

The President attacked PRC over its supposed “false positive” COVID-19 test results days after Senator Richard Gordon’s blue ribbon committee led a probe into government’s pandemic transactions. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.