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MRT-3 reduces operations after virus outbreak

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Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) will reduce the number of running trains on July 6 after 127 of its workers tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a virtual presser on Thursday, Timothy Batan, Undersecretary for Railways of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), said that 36 new cases were recorded the past two days among MRT-3 personnel at the EDSA-North Avenue Terminal Depot, resulting in the total 127 Covid-19 cases.

“From 91 on Tuesday, nitong umaga, meron na po tayong 127 cases po dito po sa ating depot (this morning, we now have 127 at the MRT-3 depot),” Batan said.

So far, he said, workers who tested positive were all posted at the MRT-3 depot, with no positive cases among MRT-3 personnel working with customers.

“Mga empleyado po natin sa MRT-3 na nasa mga istasyon. Iyong mga humaharap po sa pasahero, yun pong mga front-liners sa MRT-3, ay hanggang ngayon po ay wala pa tayong positive sa Covid-19 (MRT-3 employees in stations (only). Those interacting with commuters -- the MRT-3 front-liners — are, so far, not positive with Covid-19),” Batan said.

Of the total, he said 124 are employees of Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Sumitomo), the MRT-3’s maintenance provider, while the remaining three are employees of the MRT-3.

With about 1,700 workers in its depot, he said the MRT-3 will continue running normally on Friday while operations will be shut down at the weekend due to rail replacement works, and will resume at reduced capacity on Monday.

“Pagdating po sa Lunes, diyan po tayo posible at most likely po na magre-reduce ng operations at malalaman po natin yung bilang ng tren na mababawas nitong parating na weekend (By Monday the MRT-3 will most likely operate at less capacity and we’ll know the number of trains this weekend),” Batan said.

According to a press release from the MRT-3, the continuation of its operation at a reduced capacity was based on the guidance of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID), Sumitomo, and the DOTr.

Additional measures and precautions will also be taken by MRT-3 personnel which includes wearing full PPE for stations and depot personnel, limiting movement of depot personnel to their immediate areas of responsibility, increased disinfection activities, and heightened monitoring and screening of symptoms among all personnel.


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