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Palace to RITM: Don’t repeat Eric Yap Covid-19 test blunder

Malacañang on Friday reminded the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to be more careful in releasing the results of tests for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The directive was made shortly after RITM recanted its previous finding that ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap tested positive for Covid-19.

RITM clarifies Yap remains negative for coronavirus

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on Friday clarified that ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap remains negative for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).In a statement, the RITM apologized to Yap for providing an erroneous report showing positive test results for the virus,… Read More

“We appeal to the RITM to be more certain of the test results before releasing them to the patients or to their doctors to avoid such unfortunate incident,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press statement.

In a separate statement, RITM announced that Yap’s test results are “false positive,” which means that the legislator was actually tested negative for Covid-19.
RITM issued a public apology to Yap, and assured the public that the latest incident was an “isolated” case.
“The isolated incident was brought about by an encoding error which was discovered late last night (Thursday),” it said. “We profusely and sincerely apologize to Hon. Eric Go Yap for the unnecessary discomfort this incident has caused.”
Yap received his test results 10 days after he had himself tested for Covid-19 on March 15. He was initially told that he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Panelo said the Palace was “pleased” to hear the announcement about Yap’s negative test results.
“While the erroneous reporting of Cong Yap’s Covid-19 positive has caused alarm and anxiety to those who had close physical contact with him and made them undergo self-quarantine, nevertheless such good news is welcome,” he said.
The erroneous test results of Yap prompted Presidential Security Group (PSG) chief Col. Jesus Durante III to direct all presidential security aides to undergo self-quarantine from March 28 to April 10.
Durante’s order came after Yap attended a meeting at Malacañan Palace on March 21.
The PSG on Thursday also threatened to file charges against Yap for his supposed misdeclaration on his health condition.
In a text message, Durante said the case against Yap would be pursued, unless the “investigation team recommends that it will be dropped.”
Durante added that the order for PSG personnel to undergo self-quarantine would not be lifted despite RITM’s announcement.
“We are glad that his tests turned out to be negative. Still, the directive that all PSG personnel to undergo self-quarantine effective tomorrow remains,” he said. (PNA)

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