A lawmaker who recently met with top government officials including leaders of both houses of Congress on Wednesday confirmed that he tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"It is with a heavy heart that I share to all of you that I tested positive for coronavirus," ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap, the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said in a statement sent to reporters.
According to Yap, he underwent testing for COVID-19 on March 15, but it was only on Wednesday that he received a call from the Department of Health about the result.
He said he underwent testing because he was exposed to other people who also had exposure to individuals who turned out positive for COVID-19.
He led the March 10 meeting of his committee on the supplemental budget for the government's COVID-19 response, but it was "business as usual" for him after that, he said.
On March 21, Yap said he was called to attend a meeting at Malacañang to tackle the measure granting President Rodrigo Duterte special authority to address COVID-19.
Several government officials including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Bong Go, Senator Pia Cayetano, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado were also in the same meeting.
"Bago tayo magpunta doon, nagtanong ako kung may resulta na ang aking test, pero wala pa daw. I attended the meeting and was careful the whole time knowing na I could potentially be a carrier of the virus," Yap said.
Yap also attended the House of Representatives' special session and even sponsored the House's version of the bill.
"Earlier that day, bago magtungo ng Kongreso, nagtanong ako kung may resulta na ang aking test, pero wala pa rin daw. That was eight days after my test," said.
Yap apologized and asked for understanding to the individuals with whom he came in contact.
He admitted that he became paranoid for his mild cough but he felt it was normal for him.
"Mas nag-ingat tayo dahil wala pang resulta ang test ko. Those who know me personally know that I practice good personal hygiene. But it didn’t spare me from this virus," he said.
"Wala pong kinikilalang pulitika, kapangyarihan, o kayamanan ang sakit na ito. Pantay pantay po tayong lahat. Kung gusto nating sugpuin ang pagkalat ng virus, kinakailangan na magkaisa tayo. Sama sama, kaya natin ito," he added.
Yap appealed to the public to stay at home and keep their bodies and surroundings clean.
"Hindi naging sapat na malinis lang ang katawan ko dahil kinailangan kong lumabas at makisalamuha sa tao dahil sa tungkulin ko. Sabi nila, senior citizens are the most at risk. Stop going out and stop socializing; 'lower risk' does not mean 'no risk,'" he said.
"This is a minor setback for me but it will not stop me from fulfilling my duties and responsibilities. Let’s all rise from this together," he added --JST, GMA News