DOTr: Dozens of railway personnel test positive for COVID-19

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 5) — The Department of Transportation says antigen and RT-PCR tests done on railway personnel have shown that dozens are positive for COVID-19.

"Ongoing ang antigen testing ngayon. Sa kasalukuyan ay nakakapag test na tayo ng 1,709 na mga katao as of yesterday sa kabuuan po ng LRT-1, 2, 3 at PNR. At out of the 1,709 na 'yan ay nakapagtala na tayo ng 345 po na positive cases base sa antigen," DOTr Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan said in a televised briefing on Wednesday.

[Translation: Antigen tests are ongoing. Right now, we have tested 1,709 people as of yesterday in the whole of LRT-1, 2, 3 and PNR. Out of the 1,709 we have logged 345 positive cases based on antigen tests.]

Batan said confirmatory RT-PCR tests showed 56 were positive.

"Magpapatuloy ang tests na ito hanggang sa kabuuan ng linggo hangga't matest ang lahat ng rail personnel at nang ma-quarantine natin at mabigyan ng naaayong lunas yung mga madedetect na positive cases," added Batan.

[Translation: The tests will continue until the end of the week until all rail personnel are tested, and the positive cases are quarantined and given correct treatment.]

In a separate interview with CNN Philippines' Balitaan, Batan broke down the number of those who tested positive.

As of Jan. 4, 931 MRT-3 personnel have undergone antigen testing and 146 were found positive for the coronavirus.

"Yung nakapag RT-PCR test na diyan ay umabot na sa 281 at kasalukuyan ay 41 ang confirmed positive. Yan ay sa MRT-3 lamang," he said

[Translation: Those who took the RT-PCR test reached 281 and currently 41 are confirmed positive. That's just for the MRT-3.]

Meanwhile, 653 personnel of the Philippine National Railways have undergone antigen tests. Out of that, 174 were positive, with three of them confirmed positive based on RT-PCR tests.

Similar tests were done for MRT-1 and MRT-2 personnel.

"Dun sa dalawang LRT lines — LRT-1 at LRT-2 — ay nasa 125 ang nakakapag-antigen testing at ang positive based sa antigen ay 25. Ang nacoconfirm na RT-PCR positive ay nasa 12," said Batan.

[Translation: For the two LRT lines — LRT-1 and LRT-2 — 125 have gotten antigen tests and 25 are positive based on antigen. There are 12 confirmed RT-PCR positive.]

He added that these test results have not affected train operations and they have not seen any reason to stop operations.

Batan also said the random antigen testing of train passengers would begin this week.

"Ang objective...ay para makita kung gaano, yung presence, gaano kalaganap yung COVID-19 sa linya ng riles at para tayo ay magabayan sa pagpapatupad ng measures para maaddress yan," he said.

[Translation: The objective is to see the prevalent COVID-19 is in the railways at so we can be guided on what measures should be done so it can be addressed.]

Batan said random testing would be done in select stations and would also be voluntary.

"Ito po ay voluntary, ito po ay consensual at hindi natin pipigilan ang ating mga pasahero na magpatuloy ng kanilang biyahe at maging ang mga resulta ay itetext lamang," he said.