MRT-3 on 'regular operations' after 15 workers contract COVID-19
MRT-3 on 'regular operations' after 15 workers contract COVID-19
(Philstar.com) - June 18, 2020 - 6:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Rail Transit rail line 3 will continue regular operations despite its depot personnel undergoing rapid antibody testing on Thursday after 15 workers of its maintenance provider tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Asked by Philstar.com about the line's operations moving forward, MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said: "MRT-3 will be on regular operations. Yes, they underwent PCR testing."

According to a statement sent to reporters by the transportation department, those testing positive in the rapid antibody testing conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard will be required to undergo confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing and go on self-quarantine for the time being. 

Management will also implement additional health and safety protocols to limit interaction among personnel including screening for symptoms before entry, the mandatory wearing of face masks, alternative work arrangements, setting up of sanitation stations, hygiene promotion, and physical distancing at the workplace.

This, while the depot is also slated to be disinfected.

“The health and safety of our employees and passengers are primordial to us. All employees will be required to undergo testing. We have been conducting disinfection in the depot, at stations, and in trains. We will continue to implement these and other measures to contain the spread of the virus in our workplace, stations, and trains,” Capati added in the statement. 

In an interview with CNN Philippines later Thursday, Capati also highlighted that a number of the confirmed carriers were not MRT personnel. 

"Actually the five who tested positive are from our maintenance provider, not from MRT personnel. We identified 38 personnel and they underwent testing on June 15. After three days, the results came out, 14 of them are positive," he said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Contact tracing is ongoing for the confirmed carriers, while identified contacts have been advised to undergo self-quarantine and RT-PCR testing before going back to work, the department said.

This comes as general community quarantine is extended until the end of June. The first few days of Metro Manila's GCQ saw much of the same traffic problems that plagued commuters pre-COVID come back with a vengeance in the absence of a number of modes of transportation. 

“We have the best interest of our passengers and employees at heart. We want to immediately address the situation to prevent more people from contracting the disease,” Capati said. — Franco Luna with reports from James Relativo

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION METRO RAIL TRANSIT LINE 3
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