A total of 16 passengers of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) and the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) have tested positive for COVID-19 on the first day of the rail lines’ random antigen testing for consenting commuters.
The MRT-3 and the LRT-2 started on Tuesday, Jan. 11. the random swab testing of volunteering train riders amid the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila which is currently under the more stringent Alert Level 3.
According to the MRT-3, 96 passengers submitted themselves to the voluntary antigen testing — 15 tested positive, while 81 yielded negative results.
Meanwhile, of the 24 passengers tested at the LRT-2, one tested positive while 23 were negative.
The antigen tests are being conducted during weekdays at MRT-3’s North Avenue, Cubao, Shaw Boulevard, and Taft Avenue stations from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
While for the LRT-2, the free antigen testing is done from Monday to Friday at the Antipolo Station (7 a.m. to 11 a.m.), Cubao Station (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and Recto Station (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.).
The MRT-3 management and the Light Rail Transit Authority said the random testing is in line with the recent order of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade for rail systems to enforce strict health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This is after Alert Level 3 was hoisted again over the National Capital Region following a spike in the number of COVID-19 infections in the country.
Tugade earlier explained that the random antigen testing will help the DOTr gauge the level of COVID-19 presence in the rail lines.
“The random antigen testing of consenting and volunteering passengers is intended to guide us in the adoption of any further needed measures,” Tugade said.
Prior to the testing of passengers, the DOTr also ordered a mandatory antigen test among all the personnel of the rail lines as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 to passengers and train workers.
Aside from testing, additional train marshals were also deployed to optimize the enforcement of health protocols inside trains and in stations.