92 MRT3 personnel tested positive for COVID-19

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A total of 92 personnel of Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3) tested positive for COVID-19, causing them to operate at reduced capacity beginning July 6.

MRT3 said the number of trains, which are already in a reduced capacity, would be lessened due to the 67 new cases in the rail transit’s workforce.

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After recording 25 positive cases last week, MRT3 and its maintenance provider Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) conducted swab testing of all their personnel. The results yield 67 more infections.

“Almost all of the positive cases (89 out of 92) are depot personnel of Sumitomo-MHI, with the remainder being depot personnel of MRT-3,” MRT3 management said in a statement.

MRT3 management assured the public that its stations remain COVID-free.

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According to Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, MRT3 could continue operations at reduced capacity with the guidance of the Inter-Agency Task Force, as advised by Sumitomo-MHI.

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MRT3 added the level of adjustment in train operations would depend on the recommendations of Sumitomo over the weekend.

“Sumitomo requested to discuss on a day-by-day basis the level of operations that they can sustain as results of the mass swab testing continue to be released,” Batan said.

“In the meantime, Sumitomo advised that they are able to continue with operations to service MRT-3’s tens of thousands of passengers, although at a reduced level,” he added.

Some personnel at the depot that is currently on quarantine, MRT3, said.

Sumitomo’s Masanori Honda said they would try to keep the same maintenance performance through the week and would update the MRT3 management daily.

“We would like to discuss with DOTr MRT3 office day by day, how much maintenance level we would be able to keep, in view of the number of COVID-19 infected people,” Honda said.

The rail transit said it reached its highest ridership to date on Monday during the general community quarantine, which is 67,821 passengers at its reduced capacity of 13% (153 passengers per train, down from 1,182 pre-ECQ).

MRT3’s Bus Augmentation Program also reached its highest ridership on Monday, carrying 8,835 passengers.

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