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    RITM: Rep. Yap’s result was ‘false positive’; he doesn’t have COVID-19

    MANILA, Philippines – The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) announced on Friday, March 27, that it made a mistake in the report for the tests results of ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Yap. The lawmaker disclosed on Wednesday that he is positive for COVID-19, but he actually got a ‘false positive’.
    RITM officials personally visit him to explain and apologize on clerical oversight.

    “We wish to publicly apologize to Hon. Erick Go Yap of ACT-CIS Partylist for forwarding a report of his COVID-19 results that displayed a clerical oversight,” the RITM announced in its statement.

    Yap remains negative for COVID-19, the RITM clarified.

    Rep. Yap’s result was ‘false positive’; he doesn’t have COVID-19
    Photo credit: Congressman Eric Yap / Facebook

    “Again, we profusely and sincerely apologize to Hon. Erick Go Yap for the unnecessary discomfort this incident has caused,” RITM reiterated.

    Clerical error

    The RITM said that it was just a clerical error made by an augmentation staff from outside the regular workforce of the laboratory. RITM’s Molecular Biology Laboratory discovered the encoding error on Thursday night and has been rechecked to ensure that they are releasing the correct results this time.

    RITM officials personally visit him to explain and apologize on clerical oversight.
    RITM officials personally visit him to explain and apologize on clerical oversight. Photo credit: Congressman Eric Yap / Facebook

    “We promise that this, and other associated incidents, will never happen again,” the RITM assured, adding that their results remain accurate despite this incident.

    The polymerase chain reaction testing procedure being used at the RITM “still stands as the gold standard in detecting the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19,” the RITM explained. They also announced that the erring staff is now “being dealt with administratively”.

    Rep. Yap’s result was ‘false positive’; he doesn’t have COVID-19
    Photo credit: Congressman Eric Yap / Facebook

    Yap’s announcement that he is positive for COVID-19 was met with anger, particularly because he had attended several meetings, including one in the Malacañang Palace attended by Sen. Bong Go who was later seen with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

    The Presidential Security Group (PSG) is even eyeing charges against him for breaking protocol, particularly because this could have placed the president’s life in danger.

    Rep. Yap’s result was ‘false positive’; he doesn’t have COVID-19
    Photo credit: Senator Bong Go / Facebook

    Yap accepts RITM apology

    Instead of getting angry at the RITM for the error, Yap accepts the apology and calls on the public to do the same.

    “Inaamin ko, the past 48 hours has been very hard for me and to everyone around me. Hindi naging madali ito pero buong puso kong tinatanggap ang apology ng DOH-RITM,” he said.

    Rep. Yap’s result was ‘false positive’; he doesn’t have COVID-19
    Photo credit: RITM

    Yap added that it was RITM Director Celia Carlos who called him about the error, explaining what happened. He added that because it is just a ‘clerical error’, the public should not take it against the testing facility.

    “Naiintindihan ko, they are the busiest medical facility in the country right now. It's not an excuse pero normal na nagkakaroon ng pagkakamali sa dami at sa pressure na tinatanggap ng RITM ngayon,” the lawmaker added.

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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