MRT-3 conducts rapid antibody testing on all depot personnel after 15 depot workers contract COVID-19

All depot personnel of the MRT-3 line will undergo rapid antibody testing today, 18 June 2020, as a health and safety measure after 15 workers of Sumitomo-MHI-TESPI, the rail line’s maintenance provider, recently tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As a precautionary measure, all MRT-3 and Sumitomo-MHI-TESPI depot personnel will undergo rapid testing to be conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Those who will test positive in the rapid antibody testing will be required to undergo RT-PCR confirmatory testing and to go on self-quarantine while waiting for the results of the confirmatory test.

“The health and safety of our employees and passengers are primordial to us. All employees will be required to undergo testing. We have been conducting disinfection in the depot, at stations, and in trains. We will continue to implement these and other measures to contain the spread of the virus in our workplace, stations, and trains,” said MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael J. Capati.

Director Capati added that depot-wide disinfection, the most recent having been done on Monday, will be repeated. The MRT-3 management will also implement additional health and safety protocols to further limit the interaction between depot and stations personnel.

It is noted that there is very limited interaction between maintenance personnel at the depot and personnel at stations.

“We have the best interest of our passengers and employees at heart. We want to immediately address the situation to prevent more people from contracting the disease,” Dir. Capati emphasized.

On 11 June, Sumitomo-MHI-TESPI reported that one of its depot personnel underwent a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test. The employee was then confirmed COVID-19 positive on 14 June.

The depot personnel’s last day to report at the depot was on 8 June. On the same day, contact tracing was done for the COVID-19 positive Sumitomo-MHI-TESPI depot worker, with 32 depot personnel being identified to have made contact with the worker.

The contacts underwent RT-PCR testing the next day, and 14 were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.

Contact tracing is ongoing for the 14 COVID-19 positive depot personnel.

Identified contacts have been advised to undergo self-quarantine and RT-PCR testing before going back to work at the MRT-3 depot.

These measures are being done to contain the transmission of the novel coronavirus at MRT-3 facilities.

Other measures that continue to be implemented pursuant to DOH guidelines include screening for symptoms for every entry into MRT-3 facilities, mandatory wearing of face masks, alternative work arrangements to reduce the number of people in the workplace, regular disinfection of facilities, setting up of sanitation stations, hygiene promotion, and physical distancing at the workplace.