Manpower shortage led to clerical error in lawmaker's test result: Health chief


Posted at Mar 30 2020 09:31 AM

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An erroneous test result on the supposed novel coronavirus infection of a lawmaker was the product of manpower shortage at the hospital that screened him, Manila's health minister said Monday. 

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) earlier admitted it made a "clerical oversight" when it said that ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Go Yap had COVID-19. 

The RITM has just a few data encoders, who serve various offices at the state-run facility, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. 

"Wala e, mahirap talaga ang sitwasyon. Minsan may ganoon talagang nangyayari, lalo na nagkulang sa tao," he told DZMM. 

(The situation is really difficult. Sometimes incidents like that happen because we are short of personnel.)

"Pero ang importante, andoon ang sistema to correct it... Isolated case lang ito," the official added. 

(What matters is that the system is in place to correct it. This is just an isolated case.) 

Aside from conducting COVID-19 screening, the RITM also inspects tens of thousands of test kits that other countries donated, he said. 

The Philippines as of Sunday confirmed 71 deaths or about a 5-percent fatality rate out of its total 1,418 cases of the disease. The tally, which included 42 patients who were cured, could spike with the recent arrival of additional test kits, said the health department. 

DZMM, March 30, 2020