PH House lawmaker confirms he has COVID-19

Robie de Guzman
ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap

MANILA, Philippines – ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap on Wednesday confirmed he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“It is with a heavy heart that I share to all of you that I tested positive for coronavirus,” Yap, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, said in a statement.

Yap also admitted that he recently met with top government officials, including leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and even attended a meeting in Malacañang despite experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

The lawmaker said he took a test for COVID-19 on March 15 after he got exposed to people who may have come in contact with those who later tested positive for the respiratory illness.

Yap said that on March 10, he led a panel hearing on a bill pushing for the supplemental budget for the DOH, and that it was “business as usual” for him after that.

“Since March 10, ilang tao pa ang nakasalamuha ko kabilang na ang ilan na maaaring na-expose sa mga known positive cases of COVID-19,” he said.

The lawmaker further said that on March 21, he was called to attend a meeting in Malacañang to tackle the government’s response against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” he said.

Yap also attended the House of Representative’s special session on March 23.

“Earlier that day, bago magtungo ng Kongreso, nagtanong ako kung may resulta na ang aking test, pero wala pa rin daw. That was 8 days after my test,” he said.

He admitted that he became paranoid for his mild cough but he felt that “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.

When he was informed of his positive test result, Yap said he felt angry with himself for putting those around him at risk.

“Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko,” 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 also appealed to the public to remain at home, maintain proper hygiene and keep the 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.

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