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    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    MANILA, Philippines – In the Philippines where only a limited number of test kits are available, a lot of PUIs (persons under investigation) have to wait several days, even some weeks, before their test results come out. Many have already died without knowing that they tested positive of the condition.
    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    But netizens are angry after learning that several politicians skipped protocol on COVID-19 testing to get tested despite being asymptomatic, meaning they’re not even exhibiting any symptoms at all! Someone who claims to be from Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) claimed that they were forced to prioritize the testing of these VIPs or else they would all lose their jobs.

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    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    Due to the prioritized COVID-19 testing for these politicians, several samples for legitimate PUIs were pushed to the back.

    On Twitter, #NOtoVIPTesting and #MassTestingNgayonNa quickly became a trending topic. Netizens slammed the politicians of thinking only about themselves as they used the country’s very limited resources.

    According to the whistleblower who works at the RITM, the politicians had their own codes for testing – the ones with an ‘E’ were VIPs. These politicians have allegedly threatened to go after the RITM staff’s jobs if they can’t release the results within 24 hours. Out of fear, they complied but with much anger as they knew many of the PUIs’ tests had to be put off.

    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    The whistleblower also warned that their director will be replaced by Monday as Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had already sent the memo but this was not yet released to the public.


    The whistleblower said that the VIP codes have disappeared but everyone at the lab knew that their samples are still among the regular samples but are now ‘hidden’ from them because they are complaining about the VIP testing.

    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    Aside from the politicians, their family members are also being tested; this angered the lab staff even more but they have no other choice.

    On Monday, Duque issued a clarification that Dr. Celia Carlos remains as the director of RITM, adding that the circulating memo was an ‘erroneous draft’.

    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests


    DOH protocol on COVID-19 testing

    According to the DOH protocol, only PUIs in severe to critical condition must undergo testing for COVID-19.

    Politicians slammed for VIP COVID testing that caused backlog on PUI tests

    Meanwhile, asymptomatic patients with exposure history, should undergo a 14-day home quarantine. They are considered persons under monitoring (PUMs) but they should not undergo testing unless they start manifesting symptoms and have been determined as high-risk due to old age or have existing medical conditions.

    UPDATE: DOH clarifies issues on expedited testing of selected government officials.

    "DOH assures the public that there is no policy for VIP treatment and all specimens are being processed on a first-in, first-out basis. With courtesy accorded to officials holding positions of national security and public health."

    DOH clarifies issues on expedited testing of selected government officials.
    Statement from Department of Health on issues with expedited testing of selected government officials.

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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