Singapore bank DBS evacuates 300 staff after coronavirus case surfaces - memo

Bank closes office after employee found infected with COVID-19

"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.

People enter Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 where DBS headquarters is situated in Singapore on February 12, 2020.

"We are also now conducting detailed contact tracing with all employees and other parties that the infected employee may have come into contact with", DBS said. The other case is an employee of United Industrial Corporation (UIC), who works at Clifford Centre.

Singapore's biggest bank DBS has evacuated 300 staff from its head office on Wednesday as a precautionary measure following a confirmed coronavirus case at the bank, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

With effect from next week, all DBS employees will receive a personal hygiene and protection care pack, in addition to a medical helpline and complimentary services to virtual doctors are already in place, the bank said.

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

"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.

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All 300 had been working on the same floor, the 43rd, and were sent home on Wednesday.

A total of 50 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Singapore so far. As of Tuesday, nine of these have since recovered.

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

Long lines had formed this week to enter some offices in the financial district as employers started screening workers for temperature.

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

The outbreak has revived memories of the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome which killed over 30 people in Singapore, and almost 800 worldwide.

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