MRT-3 temporarily shut after spike in COVID-19 cases among train personnel
MANILA, Philippines — The government task force on the COVID-19 pandemic has approved the temporary shutdown of MRT-3 operations starting Tuesday, July 7 following the recent surge of infections among the train personnel.
In an online press briefing Monday, MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the proposal to temporarily halt the operations for five days of Metro Manila’s busiest train system, after it recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases among its employees.
The temporary shutdown will be undertaken to give way to RT-PCR (swab) testing of all MRT-3 personnel, including those of its maintenance provider and subcontractors, to prevent further spread of the respiratory disease, Capati said.
In the interim, thorough disinfection of all MRT-3 facilities will be conducted, including its depot, stations, and trains.
To help ferry commuters, the MRT-3 Bus Augmentation Program will continue with 90 buses and fixed dispatching interval of every 3 minutes and an additional 150 buses will be deployed for the EDSA Busway service, carrying passengers between Monumento and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITx).
A mini loop will also run between Timog Ave. and Ortigas to service passengers, where shuttle services/mini-buses will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at the curbside.
Currently, there are 186 confirmed COVID-19 cases among MRT-3 employees, including 11 ticket sellers, three train drivers, two control center personnel, and one nurse. The remaining 169 are depot personnel.
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