The coronavirus outbreak has spread into Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD), with two employees found to be infected, and staff from major firms being told to work from home.
As two cases of coronavirus emerge in Singapore’s CBD, companies have stepped up temperature screening of staff and visitors as well as daily sanitation of offices. The CBD is the financial district of the thriving business city.
The Central Area, where the CBD is located, is one of the most densely developed places in Singapore, with a large mix of commercial and residential developments packed into a space of only 1784 hectares.
One of the two people to be infected contracted the virus on February 8. This patient works at Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1, where Standard Chartered is a key tenant. The other, an employee of United Industrial Corporation (UIC), works at Clifford Centre.
The affected office spaces, lifts and ground floor common areas have been disinfected and deep-cleaned, according to the management of the buildings.
MAS Advisory & travel restriction
Last Friday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued an advisory. It urged financial institutions to adopt the additional recommended measures from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Manpower.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore operates as a central bank. The MAS conducts monetary policy, issues currency, manages the foreign reserves, and supervises financial services.
After the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) Alert Level was raised from yellow to orange, the MAS directed financial institutions to adopt the following actions:
Continue to maintain effective internal controls across their operations; and implement split team arrangements;
Anticipate and be prepared to manage any increase in demand for certain financial services, such as cash withdrawal or online financial services;
Inform customers promptly of the availability of services and operating hours; and Monitor and support staff morale.
Meanwhile, Singapore has stopped doing any of the following events: large-scale internal meetings, public gatherings and major customer events.
Businesses and institutions in the island city-state have also restricted all overseas business travel.