Covid-19: Philippines closes down railway station; S. Korea face rising cases

  • Philippines
  • Tuesday, 07 Jul 2020

Train passengers queue up to board a bus at a train station in Manila on July 7, 2020, after authorities suspended operation of one of the train lines after many of its staff tested positive of Covid -19 disease. - AFP

MANILA, July 7 (AP): A commuter railway line in the Philippine capital will be shut for five days starting Tuesday after nearly 200 employees, including 15 ticket sellers, tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.

The shutdown of the 13-station MRT Line 3, which runs nearly 17 kilometres (10.5 miles) from north to south in metropolitan Manila, further complicates a transport shortage caused by virus restrictions.

The government is allowing the use of more shuttle buses to ease the shortage.

Asked how commuters who may have had contact with the ticket sellers at busy stations can be traced, presidential spokesman Harry Roque did not give a clear reply and instead asked such commuters to voluntarily go into self-quarantine "because we will never know who you are.”

The railway management said employees have worn protective gear since operations resumed last month. They said all train coaches and stations will be disinfected.

The Philippines has seen a spike in infections in recent days after easing quarantine restrictions and ramping up tests. It has confirmed nearly 48,000 infections, including 1,309 deaths.

Meanwhile, South Korea confirmed 44 new cases of the coronavirus, a continuation of an uptick in new infections beyond the greater Seoul area.

The Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday the additional cases took the national tally to 13,181 with 285 deaths.

It says 20 of the newly reported cases were locally infected patients, 12 of them in the Seoul metropolitan area and the rest eight from two central cities.

The agency says 24 cases came from overseas. - AP
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