MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday reported that a total of 478 personnel from the four rail lines in Metro Manila have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“In order to ensure the safety and overall well-being of commuters, and to further avert the spread of Covid-19 especially to rail workers, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered for the mass testing of all railway personnel, based on risk and targeted approach,” the DOTr said in a Facebook post.
So far, 281 out of the 1,185 personnel of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) have been tested, with 94 confirmed to be infected with Covid-19.
In the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2), 592 out of 1,696 have been tested, with 143 infected.
For the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), 709 out of its 3,284 workers have been tested, with 120 found to be infected.
In the Philippine National Railways (PNR), 586 out of its 1,420 personnel have been tested, with 121 positive for the disease.
Aside from those who tested positive, all rail workers who are still awaiting test results, those identified as close contacts of confirmed cases, and those showing symptoms of Covid-19 are also isolated and quarantined, the DOTr said.
To date, the MRT-3 is running under limited capacity with 10 to 12 trains deployed, the LRT-2 with five trains, and the LRT-1 with 17 trains.
“Meanwhile, the PNR will resume operations on Friday, 09 April 2021, and will be deploying 10-12 trains,” the DOTr said.
Those affected by the limited capacity of trains, it said, may also take the additional public utility vehicles deployed by the DOTr road sector along train routes.
“Other initiatives that are still implemented and made available are the Free Ride for Health Workers and Medical Front liners, and the Free Ride for Authorized Persons Outside of their Residences (APOR) on jeepney routes operating under the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) Service Contracting Program,” the DOTr said.
Earlier, the LTFRB announced that all passenger buses under its Service Contracting Program plying the EDSA Busway will provide free rides to all health workers and APORs who can present their work ID beginning Wednesday, April 7. (PNA)