MANILA — The MRT-3 prohibited passengers from talking inside trains to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as it resumed operations on Monday after an outbreak of the respiratory disease.
"Mahigpit na ipinagbabawal ang pagsagot ng tawag sa digital devices ng mga pasahero at pagsasalita sa loob ng tren," the MRT management said on Twitter.
(Answering calls on digital devices and talking inside the train are strictly prohibited.)
The World Health Organization says SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person.
The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the WHO conceded Thursday, after describing this form of transmission as rare and possibly insignificant.
At least 281 MRT personnel had tested positive for the virus, only one of whom had developed symptoms while the rest are doing well under quarantine, railway operations chief Mike Capati told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
The MRT-3 earlier Monday resumed operations after a 6-day shutdown that gave way to the coronavirus screening of its workers.
Those who reported for work on Monday were in full safety gear. Passengers are required to go through thermal checks, fill up a form for contact tracing and practice social distancing, Capati said.
Thirteen trains were running as of 6 a.m., down from the 16 to 19 trains operating earlier this month. These are disinfected regularly, the transportation department said on Facebook.
Ninety buses are augmenting the MRT operations, with units dispatched every 3 minutes, the agency added.
The MRT, which runs the length of EDSA from Quezon City to Pasay City, has ferried up to 70,000 passengers daily during the pandemic, said Capati.
The railway was one of the first modes of public transport that re-opened when Metro Manila eased its 3-month lockdown in June.
— With reports from Lyza Aquino and Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News