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HomeCOVID-19“Misplaced” results delay OFW's homecoming; gov to address similar cases next week

“Misplaced” results delay OFW’s homecoming; gov to address similar cases next week

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Misplaced test results. Possible mix-up in the LGU level. Buck-passing by government agencies.

RT-PCR swab results of an OFW from Norway have not been found yet, as these are apparently misplaced, or mixed up.
RT-PCR swab results of an OFW from Norway have not been found yet, as these are apparently misplaced, or mixed up.

These were the issues that a wife of a repatriated OFW faced, as she is waiting still for the results of her husband that apparently have been misplaced or got mixed up along the way.

Connie Flores told DNX that her husband, an OFW from Norway, arrived last 20 June in Manila, had his RT-PRC test in the nation’s capital. He was immediately booked by a shipping company to Bacolod, arriving here last 26, June.

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He was immediately swabbed upon arrival here, and was immediately brought to a hotel, waiting for his test result to come out. It didn’t.

Day 14 came and went, but the results had not arrived still.

This caused Connie to worry, given that a cousin who arrived mere hours before her husband did already had her test results.

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She called up both the LGU of Bago, and its local health office, and was told to wait for few more days because a machine malfunction in the bio-lab of Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital where the swabs were taken might have caused the delay.

She waited for a couple days. Still no results.

“My husband had already been in quarantine for 21 days, but his results have not come out until now,” she said.

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What added to her frustration, she said, was when she called up the provincial hospital itself, but the hospital swore that it had already sent the results to the LGU. The LGU denied receiving the results, while the Provincial Health Office, when asked, also denied having it.

She is told that – since her husband’s name is not found in his own LGU – the results might have been mixed up those of the others in other LGUs. Her husband had to undergo a rapid test before his release; it came out negative.

Admittedly, it is not conclusive unlike the RT-PCR, but Flores said it will do for now so that her husband will finally be released.

Thankfully, she said, the Bago local government agreed to release her husband from the hotel and place him under home quarantine in Maao.

All in all, since his arrival in Manila, he had spent 30 days in hotels under quarantine.

“All that we are asking is the release date of the results, because we will be the ones to trace it,” she said.

He was supposed to return to work and sign his contract on the 18th, but he could not because he is still under quarantine. He had to ask his company to resume work on August instead.

As of press time, her husband is already under home quarantine in Maao. The test results, however, have not yet been found.

Meanwhile, Charina MagallanesTan, spokesperson of Provincial Incident Management Team for COVID-19, said she will help follow up this case with the Provincial Health Office.

She confirmed reports of a malfunction in the machine of the provincial hospital, plus the hospital has also ran out of “consumables” (swabs, kits, PPEs, etc).

She assured, though, that the province is doing something about it.

“In fact, Governor [Eugenio Jose] Lacson will be sitting to address this issue,” Magallanes-Tan told DNX, as she said there are already similar cases of delayed test results.

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Hannah A. Papasin
Hannah A. Papasinhttp://facebook.com/hannah.mariveles
Writer. Critic. Professor. She started writing since primary school and now has two published textbooks on communication. A film buff, she's a Communication, Media Literacy and Journalism Professor of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, and has a Master's Degree in English.
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