Palace advises quarantine, COVID-19 test in case of contact with MRT-3 staff
In this May 31, 2020 photo, MRT-3 readies its premises ahead of the implementation of general community quarantine in Metro Manila.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Palace advises quarantine, COVID-19 test in case of contact with MRT-3 staff
Alexis Romero ( - July 7, 2020 - 4:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang On Tuesday advised passengers who had contact with Metro Rail Transit employees to undergo tests or self-quarantine after the government's task force on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) approved the suspension of the train system's operation.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque noted that state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) shoulders the costs of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

"If you have physical contact with ticket sellers, although there is a policy on (cashless transactions) and minimum contact, but if somehow you had contact (with MRT employees), you have to go on quarantine because we don't know who you are," Roque said at a press briefing.

"If you have symptoms, you can undergo PCR test because that's part of the guidelines of DOH (Department of Health), which covers those with symptoms and those who had exposure. That will be shouldered by PhilHealth," he added.

The temporary suspension of MRT System Line 3 operations, which started yesterday (July 7), was approved through Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 52.

Under the resolution, the train system's operations will be temporarily suspended for five days starting yesterday (July 7) or until PCR testing confirms that there is a sufficient number of personnel who are negative of the virus that will allow the train to resume at least limited operations.

The task force also ordered the MRT to disinfect its facilities and the Philippine Coast Guard to conduct PCR tests on MRT employees.

More buses would be deployed during the suspension, the resolution said. Roque said 90 bus units with three- minute regular dispatch system would be deployed to fill the gap caused by the suspension.

A total of 190 bus units will also be deployed along the EDSA bus way, from Monumento to Quezon Avenue, and from Estrella to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange.

Four additional median bus stops would be open starting today (July 8) in Santolan, Ortigas and Guadalupe, Roque said. There will also be a mini bus loop from Timog to Santolan.

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