More MRT-3 personnel catch COVID-19, total cases now at 172 — DOTr

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 5)— Forty-five more personnel of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of infected workers to 172, the Transportation Department said Sunday.

Of the new cases, 39 are depot personnel, while six are station employees, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran said in a phone interview with CNN Philippines. The number includes a train driver and ticket sellers at the North Avenue and Cubao stations, she added.

Libiran, however, stressed that the station employees were not exposed to the depot personnel who previously contracted the viral disease.

She added that the management will strictly require all station personnel— including ticket sellers, guards, and janitors— to wear protective gear to avoid the spread of the virus.

The MRT-3 management last week announced it would deploy fewer trains beginning Monday, as it initially reported 127 COVID-19 infections among its personnel.

The number of trains could be reduced to around 10 and 12 from the original deployment of 16 to 19, DOTr earlier noted.

The management also previously announced it will halt operations on some weekends from July to September in order to give way for rail replacement works.

The major train line had resumed operations at limited capacity, in light of the easing of quarantine restrictions in the capital region.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Paolo Barcelon contributed to this report.