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RITM says Yap negative for COVID-19, apologizes for error

ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap is negative for COVID-19 after all, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine said on Friday.

"We wish to publicly apologize to Hon. Erick Go Yap for forwarding a report of his COVID-19 results that displayed a clerical oversight," the RITM said in a statement.

Cabinet members, including those in close contact with President Rodrigo Duterte, have been told to go on quarantine after they attended a meeting that included Yap in Malacanang.

Yap is the chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations.

"His results are by no means a false positive. This isolated incident was brought about by an encoding error which was discovered late last night by the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the DOH-RITM," the RITM said.

It said that its testing process was compliant with the World Health Organization protocol and that its results continued to be accurate despite the incident.

"The polymerase chain reaction testing procedure still stands as the gold standard in detecting the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2--the virus that causes COVID-19," the RITM said.

"The individual responsible for the inidence was enlisted as an augmentation staff from outside the regular workforce of the laboratory. Said employee is already being dealt with administratively," it added.

Yap said the past two days had been difficult for him after he was told he was positive for COVID-19.

The congressman drew criticisms for attending the meeting in Malacanang when he had himself tested for the disease.

"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," Yap said in a statement.

"Its not an excuse pero normal na nagkakaroon ng pagkakamali sa dami at sa pressure na tinatanggap ng RITM ngayon... This is just a clerical error and should not be taken against RITM," he added. -NB GMA News