Coronavirus outbreak: Singapore’s DBS bank clears office after virus case found

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Updated: Feb 12, 2020 4:16 PM

The DBS said it was conducting contact tracing with all employees and other people the infected person may have come into contact with.

Coronavirus outbreak, Singapore bank DBS, Singapore Health Ministry, Wuhan, Singapore Air Show, BoeingDBS said in a statement it was informed Wednesday morning that an employee was confirmed to be infected and that as a precautionary measure it told all staff working on the same floor to work from home. (Reuters photo)

Singapore’s largest bank DBS on Wednesday evacuated 300 staff from its head office here and told them to work from home after an employee was found to be infected with the deadly coronavirus. The infected employee was tested on Tuesday and the bank was informed of the confirmation on Wednesday morning, the DBS bank said in a statement.

As a precaution, employees in the affected office space were told to work from home. “As a precautionary measure, as at 12pm on Wednesday, we ensured that all employees on the affected floor at Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 vacated the premises, to work from home,” said the statement.

The Financial Centre is a premier location within Singapore’s downtown banking hub. The DBS said it was conducting contact tracing with all employees and other people the infected person may have come into contact with. The affected office space and common areas are being deep cleaned and disinfected according to Singapore’s Health Ministry guidelines, it added.

“During this difficult time, the bank will be providing this employee and his family with every support and guidance,” it said.
A total of 300 staff members at level 43 of the Marina Bay Financial Centre have been “evacuated” as a precautionary measure and will work from home, the bank told staff members in an internal memo, reported Channel News Asia citing the memo.

All bank employees will receive a “personal hygiene and protection care pack” with effect from next week. The pack will include a thermometer, hand sanitiser and vitamin C, said DBS, Singapore’s largest bank which will also rolling out webinars for medical health professionals to update employees and provide further information.

The bank has also put in place plans for employees to work from home or from split sites “to ensure minimal disruption to operations”. A total of 47 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Singapore so far. As of Tuesday, nine of these have since recovered.

Among the popular places from where coronavirus cases have been report is the Resorts World Sentosa Casino, where one case is a Bangladeshi worker, according to media reports. Public events in Singapore are being postponed or cancelled due to the virus while major office buildings and public meeting places are screening employees and visitors both entering and existing the premises.

Singapore is on orange alert, second to the dangerous red alert. The virus, originating from China’s Wuhan city, has since spread to more than 20 countries, killing over 1,000 and hitting more than 44,000.

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