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Singapore’s largest bank evacuates office after coronavirus infection


Singapore – The biggest bank in Singapore, DBS, on Wednesday evacuated hundreds of members of its staff from its skyscraper premises after discovering that an employee had contracted the new coronavirus.

The bank said that the affected employee was confirmed to have the virus on Wednesday after being tested on Tuesday.

The coronavirus broke out at a seafood market in the central Chinese industrial hub of Wuhan in December and has since infected more than 44,000 people and killed more than 1,100 in China.

The DBS employee and his family were being given health support.

The bank said it was tracing potential contacts that the infected employee might have had with employees and other parties.

About 300 employees from the 43rd floor of the Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 were reportedly told to work from home soon after the bank received confirmation of the virus.

“The affected office space, as well as common areas such as lifts and toilets, are being deep cleaned and disinfected in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines,’’ the bank said.

The bank said it would take the extra precaution of giving staff an anti-virus pack in addition to temperature screening, face masks and extra hand sanitizer.

“With effect from now, all employees will receive personal hygiene and protection “Care Pack”, which include masks, a thermometer, hand sanitiser and vitamin C,’’ it said.

Singapore has 47 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, more than half of which are local transmissions.

Earlier, Singapore increased its disease response alert level to code orange because of heightened risk of the virus.

The change indicates that the disease is severe and spreads easily but has not spread widely in Singapore and is being contained.


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