300 employees vacate MBFC Tower 3 after coronavirus case confirmed at DBS Asia Central

The 300 employees working on the 43rd floor have been told to work from home for the time being. ST PHOTO: CHOO YUN TING
Thermal scanners at the entrance of Marina Bay Financial Centre and signs put up outside the building on Feb 12, 2020. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Thermal scanners at the entrance of Marina Bay Financial Centre and signs put up outside the building on Feb 12, 2020. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - About 300 DBS employees vacated their office at Marina Bay Financial Centre on Wednesday (Feb 12), after an employee was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus.

An e-mail seen by The Straits Times sent at 12.55pm on Wednesday said that there was a confirmed case at the DBS Asia Central office on the 43rd storey of Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) 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 members of staff working on the same floor vacated the premises by 12pm as a precautionary measure and have been told to work from home for the time being. A DBS staff member 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 sanitiser 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.

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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.

SPH Brightcove Video
In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Health's contact tracing teams work two shifts, seven days a week, to find close contacts of patients. This is how contact tracing is carried out.

Hand sanitisers 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 e-mail said that on Sunday, a confirmed case had also been detected at MBFC Tower 1.

ST has contacted MBFC for more information.

There are 50 confirmed cases in Singapore, with the DBS employee one of the three new cases announced on Wednesday.

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.

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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.

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