After attending Palace and Congress meetings, lawmaker reveals he has COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2020 09:19 PM | Updated as of Mar 26 2020 03:48 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap said Wednesday he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"It is with a heavy heart that I share to all of you that I tested positive for coronavirus," Yap said in a statement.

According to the lawmaker, he got himself tested for COVID-19 on March 15 after having been exposed to people who may have come in contact with those turned out positive for the disease. 

"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... After that, it was business as usual for me but I was careful as always," he said. 

In a separate interview with ABS-CBN News, Yap explained he met with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, who had contact with a resource person who tested positive for COVID-19.

"No'ng lumabas sa news na kasama niya 'yong isang nag-positive, kinabahan ho talaga ako. 'Yon 'yong talagang napa-praning na ako," he said.

(When it was reported in the news he [Tugade] was together with person positive [with COVID-19], I got nervous. I panicked.)

By this time, based on Department of Health (DOH) protocol, Yap was already a person under investigation.

Rep. Eric Yap during a meeting March 21 in Malacanang with other government officials. Photo from Rep. Yap's Facebook page/handout 

But on March 21, the lawmaker went to Malacañang to attend a meeting. 

"After my testing, March 21, ipinatawag pa ako para sa isang pagpupulong sa Malacañang... I attended the meeting and was careful the whole time knowing na I could potentially be a carrier of the virus," he said.

On Monday, still without the result of his COVID-19 test, Yap also attended a special session at the House of Representatives to discuss the special powers bill sought by Malacañang to address the COVID-19 crisis.

"Earlier that day, bago magtungo ng Kongreso, nagtanong ako kung may resulta na ang aking test, pero wala pa rin daw (I asked for the result of my test, it wasn't ready). That was 8 days after my test."

Yap apologized and appealed for understanding to those whom he may have exposed to the virus. 

"Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko. I was paranoid dahil may kaunting ubo akong naramdaman but I felt it was normal for me," the lawmaker said.

(I apologize and seek understanding from people I mingled with. I was paranoid because I had a slight cough but I felt it was normal for me.)

The lawmaker stressed he was not showing any signs of respiratory illness when he went to work.

"Wala naman akong respiratory illness naramdaman talaga. Promise 'yon. Hindi naman ako magsinungaling," he said.

(I wasn't showing signs of respiratory illness. I promised. I don't lie.") - With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News