Negative COVID-19 test no excuse to violate health protocols, testing czar says after Baguio celeb party

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2021 04:49 PM

COVID-19 testing czar Vince Dizon. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – Testing negative for COVID-19 is not an excuse to violate minimum health standards, the country’s testing czar said Wednesday following a party in Baguio City that was attended by several celebrities and even the official leading the country's contact tracing efforts. 

“Wala pong perfect test sa COVID. Walang 100 percent. Kahit na ‘yong RT-PCR, hindi po ‘yan 100 percent. Lagi nating tatandaan, kahit na na-test na tayo, ‘yong minimum health standards,” Secretary Vince Dizon, who also serves as deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said in a press briefing in Taguig.

(There’s no perfect COVID test. No 100 percent. Even the RT-PCR test, that’s not 100 percent. Let’s always remember the minimum health standards even though we got tested.)

Dizon made the remark after social media users expressed outrage over a recent event in Baguio City, organized by events host Tim Yap.

Videos curated from the social media accounts of the attendees showed the guests without face masks and disregarding physical distancing.

In defending the party, Yap explained that he and all the guests tested negative for COVID-19 prior to the scheduled event.

Dizon appealed to social media “influencers” to set good examples to the public.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, also the country’s contact tracing czar, admitted that he attended the widely-criticized event. 

Meanwhile, Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano said establishments should be responsible for violations of COVID-19 protocols within their premises.

The local government has ordered the temporary closure of a restaurant in Taguig City and is investigating the alleged violation of minimum health standards during a private function attended by celebrities.

“So far, the investigation shows that the establishment did not call us,” Cayetano said.

“Wala nagsabi sa amin, ‘Sir, may crowd dito, hindi namin makontrol,’” Cayetano said.

(No one told us that there was a crowd in the area and that the could no longer control it.)