Singapore’s DBS Sends 300 Staff Home After One Contracts Coronavirus


Bank closes office after employee found infected with COVID-19

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

Singapore has reported 50 coronavirus cases, one of the highest tallies outside China, and there is mounting evidence of local transmission.

Singapore-based DBS reported net profit of S$1.51 billion ($1.09 billion) for October-December versus S$1.32 billion a year earlier, and compared with an average estimate of S$1.48 billion from five analysts, according to data from Refinitiv.

The employee was tested on Tuesday and his infection was confirmed on Wednesday. As a precaution, employees in the affected office space were told to work from home.

Meanwhile, amid rising fears of more cases of the virus infection among employees, DBS is now conducting detailed contact tracing with all workers along with other parties that the infected employee may have been in contact with. "During this hard time, the bank will be providing this employee and his family with every support and guidance", it said.

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

As a effect, all companies and many public spaces have started scanning employees and visitors for temperature.

The bank's investment in boosting its digital capabilities means there is "minimal service disruption at this point in time" as its bankers are well-equipped to work from home amid continued appetite in the market, he said, noting a deal closed just yesterday.

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. It is unclear if the DBS employee is a new case or part of the 47 already announced.

Singapore raised its "Disease Outbreak Response System Condition" to orange last week - which means the disease is severe and spreads easily from person to person.

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