The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) made a mistake in declaring ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Erick Go Yap as positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a statement from the RITM said on Friday night.
“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,” said the statement issued.
“Rep. Yap remains negative of COVID-19,” the RITM said.
“His results are by no means a false negative. This isolated incident was brought about by an encoding error which was discovered late last (Thursday) night by the Molecular Biology Laboratory (MBL) of the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM).”
“We maintain that our testing process is compliant with the World Health Organization (WHO) protocol, and that our results remain accurate despite this incident. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing procedure still stands as the gold standard in detecting the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19.”
“Again, we profusely and sincerely apologize to Hon. Erick Go Yap for the unnecessary discomfort this incident has caused. The individual responsible for the incident was enlisted as an augmentation staff from outside the regular workforce of the laboratory. Said employee is already being dealt with administratively.”
“For the assurance of the public, we have reviewed all results we have previously forwarded and we affirm that this incident remains isolated. We have also added another layer of verification for all succeeding reports we will submit.”
“We promise that this, and other associated incidents, will never happen again,” the statement read.
On the apology of the RITM over the COVID-19 results mistake, Yap said, “It’s official: my test came back as negative to COVID-19.”
“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. No less than Dr. Carlos called me up to explain what happened. 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,” 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,” said Yap.
“This is just a clerical error and should not be taken against RITM, hindi sila nagkamali ng pagprocess ng samples ko, hindi sila nagkamali sa basa ng results ko. I thank God for this news but let us not keep our guards down. Sama sama pa din natin sugpuin ang COVID!,” Yap said./Stacy Ang