As part of its efforts in curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) has teamed up with the University of the Philippines – Diliman’s National Engineering Center (UPNEC) to improve its disinfection measures using Ultraviolet C (UVC) technology to ensure the health and safety of LRT-1 passengers.
The UP College of Engineering (COE) COVID-19 Response Team recently developed a prototype disinfection chamber fitted with ultraviolet lamps to sterilize personal protective equipment (PPE) by killing bacteria and viruses through UV exposure.
LRMC and UPNEC are now in the process of developing various disinfection equipment using UVC technology that would best serve the LRT-1 trains and accelerating its mass production to immediately service the entire line.
The UV-C technology would be essential in making sure that the LRT-1 trains, facilities, and stations remain safe and virus-free when the line reopens once Metro Manila transitions to a general community quarantine. UPNEC is also tasked to continue its further research into the technology, as well as monitor and test its effectiveness once the LRT-1 resumes operations.
“The use of UVC is an effective disinfection technology being implemented in hospitals, clinics, and even in other facilities abroad. We are incredibly proud of the UP National Engineering Center for their breakthrough, as we are glad to serve our country and our fellow Filipinos in fighting the threat of COVID-19,” UP president Danilo Concepcion said.
As of now, the LRMC is using a prototype handheld and 360-degree UVC lamps from UPNEC, as well as the 180-degree UVC lamps procured from Taiwan to complement its chemical disinfection inside the trains and stations. The UVC lamps will be used daily for every train at the end stations (Roosevelt and Baclaran), with an interval of 5minutes. They will also be used during the nightly sanitation activities at the LRT-1 depot facility.
“We are constantly looking for ways to innovate and explore better alternatives to ensure that the LRT-1 is safe for our passengers and employees. With the use of proven technology, we are able to help them feel safer and more confident while riding LRT-1 by effectively reducing the risk of catching COVID-19. We thank the UPNEC for their invaluable partnership with LRMC, and we hope that these new measures will go a long way in complementing our current efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19,” LRMC Head of Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ) Andrea Madrid said.
Ramping up safety measures
LRMC has also placed additional safety measures and health protocols for all visitors and staff at LRT-1 stations, facilities, and depot, such as foot baths, drying pads, and daily health checks. The LRT-1 is also up-to-date with the passenger, sanitation, and safety promotion guidelines required for operation by the Inter-Agency Task Force.
LRT-1 operations have been suspended since March 17 as a result of the government’s extension of the enhanced community quarantine. Preventive and maintenance works for the line have been undertaken during this period in accordance with the IATF’s work safety guidelines to ensure improved service.