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4 MRT 3 ticket sellers, driver contract virus

Total cases hit 172 as infection spreads to station personnel

MANILA, Philippines — An additional 45 personnel of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3, including four ticket sellers and a train driver, have contracted the new coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of cases to hit Metro Manila’s busiest railway line to 172.

Of the total cases, six were station personnel while the remaining 166 were maintenance workers assigned to the underground MRT 3 depot, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Sunday. Previously, the cases were confined to depot workers where the first case was discovered on June 14.

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The personnel included a train driver, a nurse and four ticket sellers — two of them assigned at the busy Araneta Center-Cubao station, one at North Avenue station and the fourth on reserve status.

“MRT 3 personnel who have contracted the coronavirus have now been admitted in government quarantine facilities at the World Trade Center, Philippine Arena and PhilSports Arena,” the DOTr said in a statement.

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Swab tests ongoing

All other personnel were now undergoing polymerase chain reaction or swab testing with those still awaiting their results currently under quarantine.

“As part of efforts to intensify the protection being given to MRT 3 commuters, all MRT 3 personnel at the line’s depot, as well as those assigned at the stations and trains, are now required to wear full personal protective equipment,” it added.

The management of the MRT 3 also stepped up monitoring and screening of the health conditions of employees. They would now be required to submit health declaration forms twice a day, as opposed to just regular temperature checks.

Disinfection intensified

“Disinfection activities at the MRT 3 depot and at all MRT 3 stations have also been heightened, with disinfection being done twice a day by a certified professional provider in addition to the continuing regular disinfection by MRT 3 sanitation personnel,” it said.

There would also be a quicker, five-minute disinfection once a train reached both ends of the railway, at North Avenue and Taft stations.

After the explosion of cases at the depot, only 10 to 12 trains were running on the line last week, compared to the usual 16 to 19. Officials have not recommended a shutdown of the entire railway, which is relied on by thousands now returning to work as lockdown restrictions ease.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Metro Manila COVID-19 cases, MRT
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