The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced today, July 6, that MRT-3 operations will be suspended to make way for the swab testing of all its personnel for COVID-19. The announcement comes after the number of positive cases among employees of the train line climbed to 186.
According to the agency, the suspension will begin tomorrow, July 7, and will last until July 11, or until the number of personnel necessary for limited MRT-3 operations tests negative for COVID-19. The agency emphasized, however, that the length of the shutdown may be extended or shortened depending on the rate of testing.
Testing of MRT-3 personnel will be conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) with assistance from the Red Cross, and positive cases will be sent to government quarantine facilities. Those who test negative, meanwhile, will take part in the resumption of operations.
The MRT-3’s workforce is composed of more than 3,200 personnel, and the DOTr says it will take at least 1,300 employees for operations to resume. The agency added that the train line currently needs 964 additional “negative personnel” to get going. In the meantime, commuters can utilize the agency’s Bus Augmentation Program and the new EDSA Busway service.
“During this pandemic, the mandate to support the reopening of the economy shall be balanced with the health and safety of the riding public, and of our public transport personnel,” the DOTr said in its announcement.
Do you think testing will be finished by the time the scheduled resumption of MRT-3 operations comes around, or will the DOTr need an extension? Let us know in the comments.