All MRT-3 depot personnel to undergo testing after 15 maintenance workers contract COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 18) — All depot personnel of the MRT-3 shall undergo coronavirus testing on Thursday after several workers of the rail line's maintenance provider tested positive for COVID-19.

"Right now, we're waiting for the Philippine Coast Guard to arrive in (the) depot so that we have mass rapid antibody testing today for all MRT-3 employees and our maintenance provider, including their subcontractors, para ma-determine na natin kung ano ang estado ng health condition natin," DOTr-MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Ngayon.

[Translation: So we can determine what's the state of our health condition.]

The mass testing will be done as a precautionary measure after 15 workers of maintenance provider Sumitomo-MHI-TESPI tested positive for the highly contagious disease, Capati explained.

Around 700 to 800 personnel shall undergo the rapid antibody testing, which will be done in batches to avoid affecting the MRT-3's operations, he added.

On June 14, Sumitomo-MHI-TESPI reported one of its depot personnel tested positive for COVID-19, according to the DOTr. Contact tracing was immediately done afterwards, with 32 other personnel determined to have made contact with the coronavirus-hit worker. Of this number, 14 were confirmed on June 18 that they caught the illness.

Capati also assured no passenger or station personnel got exposed to any infected depot worker.

"Wala naman po, kasi they are very, very far away. Dito lang yan nag-ano, walang exposure sa station yan. And at the same time, nag-undergo na rin kami ng different way of connecting with the depot and sa station namin by way of radyo namin, telepono, and these measures are being undertaken right now," said the official.

[Translation: There's no exposure (to infected depot workers) because they are very, very far away. They only work here, with no exposure to the station. And at the same time, we have been using different means to connect with our depot and our station such as our radios and telephones. These measures are being undertaken right now so no, there's no exposure for our passengers and station personnel.]

MRT-3 is also implementing measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities, Capati added. These include regular disinfection, installation of sanitation stations, physical distancing, and mandatory wearing of face masks.