186 MRT3 personnel test COVID-19 positive, including 17 deployed to stations

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation announced more Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) personnel have tested positive for COVID-19.
186 MRT3 personnel test COVID-19 positive

Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddess Libiran released their data on Monday confirming that they now have a total tally of 186 COVID-19 positive personnel working under the MRT3, a leap from the 127 total last week. The data showed that 169 or a majority of the confirmed cases were personnel working at the MRT Depot while 17 were deployed at stations.

186 MRT3 personnel test COVID-19 positive
MRT-3 implements the ‘five-minute disinfection hustle’ inside its trains at the end stations at North Avenue and Taft Avenue as part of the intensified implementation of health and safety protocols.

Out of the 17 station employees who tested positive, 11 were ticket sellers from North Avenue, Cubao, Kamuning, 1 nurse from Taft Station, 3 train drivers, and 2 control center personnel.

The data is a result of the mass RT-PCR testing conducted to the personnel and staff of MRT. As of Monday, a total of 1,507 personnel are already done with the COVID-19 testing while 1,792 personnel have yet to be tested.

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been admitted in government quarantine facilities in the World Trade Center, Philippine Arena, and PhilSports Arena.

Libiran said that the MRT3 management will strictly require all station personnel — including ticket sellers, guards, and janitors — to wear protective gear to help curb the spread of the COVID-19. They are also carrying out frequent disinfection at MRT3 stations.

Despite the rising number of COVID-19 positive cases, Malacañang said they are not inclined to shut down the operations of MRT3. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Metro Manila can't afford to close MRT3 due to lack of public transportation.

“Naintindihan ko na 'yung mga nagkasakit sa depot, nasa depot naman po sila, hindi sila nakikihalubilo sa mga pasahero,” Roque said in a press briefing.

“Sa tingin ko, kung ang mga nagkasakit naman ay hindi nakakahalubilo sa mga pasahero, it's a matter of disinfecting the MRTs,” he added.

UPDATE: As resolved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), and following the increasing number of personnel who tested positive for COVID-19, the MRT-3 will temporarily suspend its operations starting Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

The duration of the temporary shutdown is currently for 5 days, or until 11 July 2020, or until RT-PCR testing confirms a sufficient number of COVID-19 negative personnel to enable resumption of at least limited operations.

READ: MRT-3 to temporarily shutdown operations

— Sally, The Summit Express

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