RITM apologizes: Yap coronavirus test results ‘negative’

Sunstar

THE Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) clarified Friday, March 27, that Act-CIS Party-list Representative Eric Go Yap remains free of the novel coronavirus.

A clerical error had led RITM to inform Yap that he has been found positive for the new coronavirus.

“We wish to publicly apologize to Hon. Eric Go Yap of Act-CIS Partylist for forwarding a report of his Covid-19 results that displayed a clerical oversight. Rep. Yap remains negative of Covid-19,” the research institute said in a statement Friday.

Yap on Wednesday, March 25, announced that he had tested positive for the new coronavirus, the infectious pathogen that causes Covid-19.

The RITM assured that what happened with Yap’s test results is an isolated incident and that its testing procedure remains in sync with the protocols of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This isolated incident was brought about by an encoding error which was discovered late last night by the molecular biology laboratory,” the RITM said.

“Our results remain accurate despite this incident. The polymerase chain reaction testing procedure still stands as the gold standard in detecting the genetic sequence of Covid-19,” the RITM added.

The institute said the person responsible for the incident was enlisted as an augmentation staff.

The agency assured the public that it reviewed all the forwarded results.

“We have also added another layer of verification for all succeeding reports we will submit,” the RITM said.

Yap said the error should not be taken against RITM.

“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,” Yap said.

“This is not a cause for celebration for me dahil ilang milyong kababayan pa din natin ang kasalukuyang apektado ng krisis na ito. I will not harbor hard feelings towards anybody and I urge everybody to stay home and keep safe from this virus,” he said.

Yap’s announcement that he was positive for the new coronavirus had sparked fear among his colleagues.

Yap said he had samples taken on March 15.

On March 10, he still presided over the committee hearing on the Department of Health’s supplemental budget. On March 21, he went to Malacañang for a meeting. On March 23, he was at the House of Representatives the whole day for the special session. (Jove T. Moya and HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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