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Singapore bank clears office after coronavirus case found

DBS said the evacuation was a precautionary measure.


Visitors pass through a thermal scanner as they arrive at the Singapore Air Show (AP/Danial Hakim)

Visitors pass through a thermal scanner as they arrive at the Singapore Air Show (AP/Danial Hakim)

Visitors pass through a thermal scanner as they arrive at the Singapore Air Show (AP/Danial Hakim)

The Singapore bank DBS has evacuated a city centre office after one of its staff was infected with the strain of coronavirus officially named Covid-19.

More than 300 employees were told to work from home as mounting concerns also led authorities to scale back an air show drawing thousands of visitors.

Singapore’s Health Ministry had confirmed 47 cases of the virus as of Tuesday.

A static model of a Mitsubishi Aircraft Spacejet sits on display at The Singapore Airshow
The Singapore Air Show was scaled back (AP/Danial Hakim)

DBS said in a statement it was informed on Wednesday morning that an employee was confirmed to be infected and that as a precautionary measure it told all staff working on the same floor to work from home.

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

The virus outbreak, which is centred in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has prompted numerous cities inside China to go into lockdown, left thousands of cruise ship passengers stranded on their holiday vessels and led many governments in the region to impose unprecedented travel restrictions.

The air show’s events went ahead as scheduled on Wednesday, as rival aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus sought to draw attention to the aviation industry’s future potential while acknowledging the shadow cast by the outbreak that has led to cancellations of tens of thousands of flights.

Boeing, already struggling over the grounding of its 737 Max fleet after two crashes that killed nearly 350 people, reported zero orders for new jets in January and forecast the cargo business is likely to contract in 2020.

“We, like our customers, are trying to figure out the depth and breadth of this virus and the impact on the airlines,” Boeing’s vice president for commercial marketing, Randy Tinseth, said at the Singapore Air Show.

“Without doubt, we will see an impact,” he said.

Mr Tinseth said the cargo business is likely to be flat this year and that growth in aircraft sales is likely to fall below its forecast of 2.5-2.7% in 2020.

Mr Tinseth said: “If we’re not seeing goods travel, not seeing planes fly, it’s going to be tough to see any growth in the cargo market this year. We see 14 months of contraction in the freight market.”