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300 vacated after coronavirus case confirmed at DBS Asia Central in Singapore

  • News Desk

    The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Singapore   /   Wed, February 12, 2020   /   02:31 pm
300 vacated after coronavirus case confirmed at DBS Asia Central in Singapore Building management staff conduct temperature screenings of visitors and tenants of a building in the financial district of Singapore on February 10, 2020, in the wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus. Singapore, which has reported 33 cases of people infected with novel coronavirus, raised its alert level on February 7 to "orange" -- the same as during the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak, indicating the virus is severe and passes easily between people. (AFP/Roslan RAHMAN)

About 300 DBS employees were vacated from their office at Marina Bay Financial Centre on Wednesday, after an employee was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus.

An email seen by The Straits Times sent at 12.55 pm on Wednesday said that there was a confirmed case at the DBS Asia Central office on the 43rd story of Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3.

A DBS spokesman said the employee was tested on Tuesday and the bank was informed of the confirmation on Wednesday morning.

The 300 staff working on the same floor vacated the premises by 12pm as a precautionary measure and have been told to work fro m home for the time being. A DBS staff who works on the 13th floor said he has not heard about whether other floors have been evacuated like level 43 yet, as most of the departments have their own split operations protocol.

Contact tracing is currently being conducted with all employees and others the infected employee may have come into contact with.

The affected office premises, including common areas like lift lobbies and toilets, are also being deep cleaned and disinfected in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.

"The health and well-being of our staff are a top priority for us, and we will lend them every support to get through these uncertain times," said the spokesman.

From next week, all employees will receive a personal hygiene and protection care pack including masks, a thermometer, hand sanitizer and vitamin C.

Webinars for medical health professionals to update employees on the latest coronavirus developments and to answer medical-related concerns will also be rolled out.

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

In response to Singapore's disease outbreak response being moved to orange last Friday, DBS said that all its office buildings had put in place temperature screening and visitors are required to sign a health and travel history declaration form prior to entering its premises.

Hand sanitizers are available on every floor, and front-line staff have been given face masks.

Some employees are also working from home or split sites as part of the company's business continuity plans.

The same internal email said that on Sunday, a confirmed case had also been detected at Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1.

ST has contacted Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) for more information.

The total number of coronavirus cases here is currently at 47 as of Tuesday's updates from the Ministry of Health. It is unclear if the DBS employee is a new case or part of the 47 already announced.

Singapore raised its disease outbreak response level to orange last Friday as the coronavirus spread further within the country, with more new cases of unknown origin found.

Under the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition, orange is one step below red, which signifies an out-of-control pandemic. At orange, the outbreak is deemed to have moderate to high public health impact, but the situation is still under control.

Business continuity plans have kicked in for some companies, and office buildings have begun temperature screening of workers and visitors.