MANILA, Philippines – All railway personnel have been ordered to undergo testing for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to ensure the safety of commuters and further avert the spread of the viral respiratory disease, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.
In a statement, the DOTr said its railway sector is continuing with the mass testing of personnel from the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), the Philippine National Railways (PNR), and the Light Rail Transit lines 1 and 2 (LRT-1 and LRT-2) in line with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade’s directive.
The department said at least 860 MRT-3 personnel underwent swab tests. Of which, 131 tested positive.
Of the PNR’s personnel, 131 were found positive out of 1,013 who were tested.
The LRT-1 reported 171 COVID-19 positive out of 377 tested personnel, while 143 out of 571 LRT-2 workers were infected with the virus.
The DOTr said the testing of railway personnel contributed to the line’s limited operations since the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal was extended on Monday, 5 April 2021.
The MRT-3 line is operating with 14 train sets while the LRT-1 line is dispatching 17 trains. The LRT-2 line is operating with five trains.
Passengers affected by the limited train operations are being accommodated by bus augmentations on several routes, the DOTr said.