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LRT-1 will provide free random COVID-19 antigen swab tests to passengers who will give their consent or volunteer for testing

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In a bid to continue providing a safe transportation system, the private operator of LRT-1 Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) intensifies its fight against COVID-19 by using best-in-class health and safety protocols amid rising cases in the country.

On January 15 and 17, LRMC will provide free random COVID-19 antigen swab tests to passengers who will give their consent or volunteer for testing. Testing sites will be located at strategic LRT-1 stations with a high volume of passengers that include EDSA, Baclaran, Monumento, and Carriedo.

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LRMC is targeting to have at least a total of 40 passengers to be tested from 7 am to 5 pm. The turnaround time for the whole procedure is approximately 15 to 20 minutes per passenger. The antigen swab test will be administered by medical professionals from State Lab Clinics and Diagnostic Center. Passengers who will send themselves for testing will be given consent forms prior to the procedure partnered with mandatory contact tracing requirements.

Those passengers who will test positive will not be allowed to ride the train, and will be assisted in coordinating with their respective local government unit. LRMC will be giving incentives to those passengers who will test negative with a free beep™ card with minimum load, in line with the company’s push for contactless payments as a safer way to travel.

Aside from passengers, there will also be antigen swab testing among LRMC station employees, and they will undergo a confirmatory RT-PCR test once tested positive for COVID-19 virus. All LRMC employees are required to undergo daily monitoring of health conditions, which has been effective for the company in preventing workplace transmission.

Starting January 17, LRMC will also enforce the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr’s) new Department Order on vaccination policy, requiring passengers to present vaccination cards when riding the train. Unvaccinated individuals with medical conditions must present a duly signed certificate from their doctor. Those obtaining essential goods and services must present duly issued barangay health pass or other proof to support such travel.

“At LRT-1, we don’t allow the virus for a free ride. We remain committed to keeping LRT-1 safe for our passengers and our employees. And so, we remain adaptive to the evolving situation, and continuously upgrade existing protocols. LRMC works hand-in-hand with the government in managing the impact of COVID-19, while making sure that essential services are supported,” Dr. Duday de Sales, LRMC Head of Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality Department said.

To date, LRMC has achieved a 99.7% vaccination rate and 20% for booster shots among LRT-1 employees. The company has been awarded the Safety Seal by the Pasay City local government highlighting the company’s compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

Proper ventilation is assured as trains are equipped with hospital-grade HEPA filtration and UVC system that is installed in air-conditioning units to keep indoor air fresh and clean.

Currently allowed to operate at 70% passenger capacity under Alert Level 3, LRMC continues to implement other health and safety protocols to strengthen public confidence in public transport such as diligent temperature checks before entering the station, “No face mask, no entry” policy, and regular disinfection. LRMC was also the first to implement the “no-talking and no answering phone calls” policy inside the trains. There are also roving train marshals and security officers to strictly enforce protocols. It has pioneered the use of digital and mobile technology via its ikotMNL mobile app for information dissemination and convenient trip planning.

LRT-1 operates daily following this train service schedule: Northbound train (4:30AM to 9:15PM), Southbound train (4:30AM to 9:30PM).

For more updates and info on the LRT-1, follow LRMC on Facebook at facebook.com/officialLRT1, Twitter at @officialLRT1, or download the ikotMNL mobile app for free on Google Play and App Store.

This article has been initially published last

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