MANILA — The MRT will deploy fewer trains starting Monday after more MRT personnel tested positive for novel coronavirus infection, the transportation department said.
A total of 186 MRT personnel have tested positive for the virus as of Sunday 6 p.m., up from 172 from earlier that day, said Transportation Undersecretary for Rails Timothy John Batan.
Of the total, only 2 had developed symptoms of the respiratory disease while the rest were asymptomatic. The tally included 169 depot workers, 12 station personnel, 3 train drivers and 2 from the operations control center, he said.
The coronavirus-hit station personnel had no contact with depot workers, who were among the first to test positive for the respiratory pathogen, Batan said.
"Maaaring iyong infection ay nakuha sa labas ng MRT-3," he said.
(They could have caught the infection from outside the MRT-3.)
Personnel with the novel coronavirus and those waiting for test results are on quarantine, forcing the MRT to run only 11 trains from Monday, down from last week's 16 to 19 trains, said Batan.
The transportation department has increased the MRT augmentation buses to 90 units from last week's 60, which meant dispatch time will be shortened to 3 minutes from the previous 5 minutes, he said.
MRT personnel are required to don full safety gear and limit their movement to their areas of responsibility to minimize contact with colleagues, he said.
The MRT, which runs the length of EDSA from Quezon City to Pasay City, is the capital's busiest railway. It was one of the first modes of public transport that re-opened when Metro Manila eased its 3-month lockdown in June.
— With a report from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News