COVID-19: LRT, MRT implement passenger limit on platforms as 'social distancing' encouraged

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 13)— Major train lines in the metro have implemented new passenger protocols in line with the "social distancing" scheme, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) said they have imposed a passenger limit per platform— especially during peak hours— in an effort to follow safety policies.

The transport lines also encouraged riders to wear face masks or protective covers when boarding the trains. Senior citizens and other passengers who are "not feeling well" are also encouraged to stay at home, if travel is avoidable.

Social distancing— or avoiding large crowds of people— is one of the precautionary measures encouraged by some officials as the world continues to fight COVID-19.

Metro Manila, the country's economic and political center, is also bracing for a "community quarantine" starting Sunday, after health authorities raised the highest COVID-19 alert in the Philippines. Operations within the capital region will continue, but certain travel restrictions in and out of the metro will be in place from midnight of March 15 until April 14.

COVID-19, now considered by WHO as a pandemic, has infected more than 128,000 people in 116 different countries and territories including China. Over 4,700 people have been killed by the disease as of Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University's global tracker.