36 MRT-3 depot personnel test positive for COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 27) - Around 36 personnel of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) depot tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Transportation confirmed on Wednesday.

As of January 20, there are 33 employees who tested positive for COVID-19 after MRT-3 depot personnel took swab test early last week. An additional three infections were confirmed today, increasing the case count to 36.

All MRT-3 depot workers shifted to a work-from-home arrangement following the confirmation of positive cases. The MRT-3 depot is also under "access control", with all personnel required to undergo health screening before entry.

"Beginning last week, DOTr-MRT3 Office Personnel at the MRT-3 Depot shifted to a work from home arrangement, with only a limited number of essential Office Personnel reporting physically at the MRT-3 Depot, and only after obtaining a negative RT-PCR swab test result," the agency said in a statement.

All infected MRT-3 depot personnel are in quarantine.

The DOTr reported no employee from the MRT-3 stations contracted COVID-19, but six positive cases were recorded in the rail line's maintenance service provider, Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The agency assured the public MRT-3 operations will continue as it will strictly observe health and safety protocols, enforce limited passenger capacity in trains, wearing of full personal protective equipment of station employees, health screening of passengers and station personnel, and regular disinfection of trains facilities.

This is the second outbreak of COVID-19 at the MRT-3.

Last July, about 186 MRT-3 employees tested positive for COVID-19 which prompted the suspension of rail operations for five days.