Singapore's DBS evacuates 300 staff after employee contracts coronavirus

Daniel Fowler
February 14, 2020

As of noon, the bank asked all employees on the affected floor to vacate the premises and work from home, it added.

"As a precautionary measure, all 300 colleagues on Level 43 at MBFC have been evacuated and will work from home for the time being", Singapore country head, Shee Tse Koon said in the memo, referring to DBS' headquarters at the Marina Bay Financial Centre. The DBS said it was conducting contact tracing with all employees and other people the infected person may have come into contact with.

"In these hard times, we feel it is incumbent upon us as Singapore's largest bank to lend a helping hand to our clients and the public-at-large", said DBS Singapore country head Shee Tse Koon. The affected office space, along with the common areas such as lifts, toilets are also being deep cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines. It said staff will also receive a care pack which includes face masks, a thermometer, hand sanitizer, and vitamin C. DBS is also preparing webinars for medical health professionals to update their employees on the latest developments on COVID-19 and answer any medical-related concerns that they might have. The clarification comes after DBS told 300 employees to leave level of the Marina Bay Financial Centre following confirmation of an infection.

A medical helpline and access to virtual doctors are already in place.

Singapore has reported 47 coronavirus cases, one of the highest tallies outside China, including mounting evidence of local transmission.

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DBS said it has activated business continuity plans, with employees working from home or from split sites.

Under the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition, orange is one step below red, which signifies an out-of-control pandemic.

Central banks around the world have warned that the outbreak will have a near-term economic impact, while China has told graduates to expect a "grim" employment situation in the next few months and Opec has cut its oil demand outlook for the year.

Visitors pass through a thermal scanner as they arrive the Singapore Air Show on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Singapore.

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