DBS evacuates employees from MBFC after confirmation of coronavirus case

Bank closes office after employee found infected with COVID-19

Singapore's largest bank DBS on Wednesday evacuated 300 staff from its head office here and told them to work from home after an employee was found to be infected with the deadly coronavirus.

The employee was tested on Tuesday and his infection was confirmed on Wednesday.

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

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

Singapore had previously reported 47 cases of the new virus, the Health Ministry of the island city-state confirmed.

As of noon, the bank asked all staff on the floor where the infected person worked at its headquarters at the Marina Bay Financial Center (MBFC) to vacate the premises.

"We are also now conducting detailed contact tracing with all employees and other parties that the infected person may have come into contact with", the statement read. The common areas of the building such as lifts and toilets are being deep cleaned and disinfected. The bank further added that they were providing the employee and his family with "every support and guidance".

"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.

DBS Group Holdings Ltd (星展銀行) said it expects the COVID-19 outbreak to hurt revenue slightly this year as it unveiled steps to alleviate its impact on small businesses and home owners. The Lion City last week raised its disease response level to "orange", the same grade used during the SARS epidemic, as it braced for what prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said was a "major test for our nation".

The bank's chief executive said that despite fears over the disruption caused by the Covid-19 virus outbreak, it is "business as usual" for the bank, which has been taking the same precautions in Singapore as it has in China and Hong Kong.



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