Singapore's DBS evacuates 300 staff after employee contracts coronavirus

Marco Green
February 13, 2020

Singapore's DBS Bank evacuated 300 employees from its head office on Wednesday after a worker was confirmed to have coronavirus, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

The employee was reportedly tested for the virus on Tuesday, with the confirmation coming the same day as the evacuation.

A 62 year-old male employee tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, prompting DBS to send home everyone who had been working on the same floor as him.

"DBS confirms today that one employee has been infected with the novel coronavirus", the bank said in a statement.

Singapore has reported 50 coronavirus cases, one of the highest tallies outside China, and there is mounting evidence of local transmission. The statement did not say how many staff were impacted.

300 staff members from the bank's offices at the Marina Bay Financial Centre were evacuated once the case was confirmed.

DBS is also conducting contact tracing with all employees and other parties which the infected employee may have come into contact with.

"We are also now conducting detailed contact tracing with all employees and other parties that the infected employee may have come into contact with", DBS said.

It's also implemented: temperature screening at all office buildings; widespread availability of hand sanitisers; health and travel declarations for everyone entering the building; the provision of face masks to all front line employees. Warnings by building managers of cases in some downtown offices have been widely shared on social media.

The outbreak has revived memories of the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome which killed over 30 people in Singapore, and almost 800 worldwide. 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 deep clean is being carried out and, from next week, all employees will get a personal hygiene and protection care pack containing masks thermometers, hand sanitiser and vitamin C.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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