Panelo to RITM: ‘Be more certain’ before releasing COVID-19 test results

Published March 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) should be “more certain” about the coronavirus test results before disclosing them to the public, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the appeal after the health facility made an erroneous report that a lawmaker supposedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We are pleased to hear about the the COVID-19 negative test of of Cong. Eric Yap. While the erroneous reporting of Cong. Yap’s COVID-19 positive has caused alarm and anxiety to those who had close physical contact with him and made them undergo self-quarantine, nevertheless such good news is welcome,” Panelo said in a statement.

“We appeal to the RITM to be more certain of the test results before releasing them to the patients or to their doctors to avoid such unfortunate incident,” he added.

RITM has clarified that ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap remains negative for the coronavirus infection after a “clerical oversight” on his test results. It has apologized for the discomfort the incident has caused.

Last Wednesday, Yap revealed that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Yap’s admission prompted the Presidential Security Group (PSG) to consider filing charges against him for alleged breach of protocols when he attended a meeting in Malacañang last Saturday. The PSG earlier said the lawmaker did not fully disclose relevant information in the health declaration form for Palace visitors.

PSG commander Col. Jesus Durante III said the investigation into Yap’s entry to the Palace as well as the self-quarantine of all PSG personnel will continue.

“We are glad that his tests turned out to be negative. Still, the directive that all PSG personnel undergo self-quarantine effective tomorrow remains,” he said in a message to reporters Thursday night.

“If the investigation team recommends that it will be dropped, then so be it,” he added.

Read more: Rep. Yap is not COVID-19-positive, says RITM; apologizes for ‘encoding error’