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Fact Check: RITM denies officially soliciting 'get well cards' for COVID-19 patients

Fact Check: RITM denies officially soliciting 'get well cards' for COVID-19 patients

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:45 a.m.) — The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) denied that they have an initiative of soliciting "get well" cards for novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients under their care after a chain letter became viral online, claiming that one of its doctors is asking for “handmade get well cards” to supposedly reassure patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Variations of the said letter include the following:

  • "Dr. Nicole Perreras, a doctor at RITM, is requesting kids to create handmade "get well soon" cards for COVID-19 patients. The letters will be given to the isolated patients as part of their breakfast trays in hopes of brightening their day and uplifting their spirits. The greeting cards may be mailed to her at RITM, Research Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang. But given logistical limitations, a photographed or scanned copy of the artworks may be sent at: [email protected] Note: This is not limited to kids!! You can also make letters for our brave frontliners too!"
 

KIDS CAN HELP, TOO! Even when the children are at home, they can extend love and well-wishes to the patients of...

Posted by U.P. Child Development Center on Friday, March 27, 2020
 

To all the students of our center, let us help uplift the spirits of the COVID-19 patients by sending them handmade...

Posted by Kumon C. Raymundo Pasig Center on Friday, March 27, 2020
 

Dr. Nicole Perreras, a doctor at RITM, is requesting kids to create handmade "get well soon" cards for COVID-19...

Posted by Gi Reyes on Friday, March 27, 2020

Even celebrities have been encouraging their followers to participate.

RITM information officer Carlito Claros told Philstar.com yesterday that they have no knowledge or involvement in the alleged solicitation of cards. Claros also said that Dr. Perreras is no longer connected to RITM.

At 11:35 a.m. today, Angeli Blanco, RITM Communications Head, told Philstar.com that Perreras is still with RITM under Animal Bite and Treatment department.

Blanco affirmed that while the handmade cards are not RITM's official initiative, it is a "legitimate" personal initiative of Perreras and [email protected], the e-mail where people can send their "get well" cards, is a legitimate account Perreras presumingly created to receive the letters. 

Upon cheking Perreras' Facebook page this morning, the doctor has just posted some get-well cards she said she received at RITM.

We all need a dose of happy this morning. Say hello to RITM’s early morning deliveries! Ty kids for these rays of...

Posted by Nicole Perreras on Friday, March 27, 2020

Philstar.com has been trying to get in touch with Perreras since yesterday, but the secretary said the doctor has not replied yet to her text messages and might still be busy attending to patients as a COVID-19 medical frontliner. — With reports from Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

This is a developing story.