Japan turns over BSL-3 lab to PH

MANILA— The Japanese government turned over on Tuesday a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory under Japan’s grant aid to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health (DOH) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

The turnover ceremony was attended by Japanese Embassy Second Secretary Takeo Okada and DOH Director Mar Wynn Bellola.

The aim of the project is to enable the conduct of research on higher-risk bacteria and viruses to dramatically improve the functions of RITM.

Through the project, the RITM is expected to further contribute to the prevention and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious and tropical diseases in the Asia-Pacific region.

The RITM had been constructed through a grant aid from the Japanese government in 1981.

For more than 30 years, RITM has played a central role in the field of research and human resources development for preventing infectious diseases in the Philippines.

A biosafety level is a set of bio-containment precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents in an enclosed laboratory facility.

The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) to the highest at level 4 (BSL-4). (PR)