OFW’s swab specimen for COVID-19 test missing?


A returning overseas Filipino worker (OFW), who has been waiting for the result of a test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for a week may have to wait a little longer as the specimen taken from him could not be located, according to the Thursday report of Mariz Umali on Saksi.

Darwin Ramirez arrived in the country last Oct. 15, it has been six days since a swab sample was collected from him. He then followed up on the result of the test.

“Wala daw ang sample nila doon, baka daw nasa ibang laboratory hindi pa napadala,” Ramirez said.

“‘Di nila sure kung nasaan o ‘di nila ma-locate kung saang laboratory dinala ang mag sample namin,” he added.

Ramirez is among a group of OFWs who are waiting for the test results as Philhealth has yet to pay its debt to the Philippine Red Cross amounting to about P1 billion.

Labor Secretary Salvador Bello III said that about 4,000 OFWs who returned to the Philippines amid the coronavirus pandemic are stranded in Metro Manila after the Philippine Red Cross imposed a limit on COVID-19 testing.

The day that Ramirez arrived in the country is also the same day that the Philippine Red Cross stopped processing COVID-19 testing that are charged to Philhealth.

The government assured that there would be more laboratories that would be accredited to do COVID-19 testing.

President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier assured that the debt of Philhealth will be paid.

“Itong Red Cross, ‘wag kang mag-alala. Mabayaran ‘to. They’re just looking for a way to present the solution to the [Commission on Audit] pati sa budget,” Duterte told Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier this week during a televised address. — BAP, GMA News