Under 200 DBS staff sent home after MBFC employee found to have Covid-19

DBS on Wednesday confirmed that one employee working at the bank's main Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) office has been infected with the novel coronavirus.

The individual was tested on Tuesday, and the bank was informed of the confirmed diagnosis on Wednesday morning, DBS said in a statement.

As a precautionary measure, all DBS employees on the affected floor at MBFC Tower 3 have vacated the premises as at 12pm on Wednesday, and will work from home. The Business Times understands that not more than 200 employees have been sent home, and that about 20 employees are required to take a 14-day leave of absence due to direct contact with the confirmed case.

"We are also currently conducting detailed contact tracing with all employees and other parties that the infected employee may have come into contact with," DBS said. 

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.

DBS is an anchor tenant at MBFC Tower 3, occupying over 600,000 square feet of office space.

"During this difficult time, the bank will be providing the (infected) employee and his family with every support and guidance," said the lender.

From next week, all employees will receive a personal hygiene and protection pack that includes masks, a thermometer, hand sanitiser and vitamin C. This is in addition to the medical helpline and complimentary virtual doctor services that are already in place.

DBS said it will also roll out webinars for medical health professionals to update DBS employees on the latest developments on the virus, and answer medical-related concerns that they might have.

This is the second confirmed case at MBFC. The first was an employee at a tenant housed in Tower 1, where Standard Chartered is a key tenant. The three MBFC towers house financial institutions and large corporates.

Over at Clifford Centre, an employee of United Industrial Corporation (UIC) - which has its office there - was confirmed to have been infected with the virus on Feb 7. The building has since been disinfected. 

The total number of cases in Singapore stands at 47 as at Tuesday, 4.30pm.

Business continuity plans have kicked in for most banks, and employees and visitors at banking premises must declare their travel history and undergo daily temperature screening processes. 

The novel coronavirus was officially named “Covid-19” on Tuesday by the World Health Organization.