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Singtel employee diagnosed with novel coronavirus, says telco

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An employee of Singtel was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on Thursday night, the telco said on Friday, adding that the staff is currently in hospital receiving treatment.

AN employee of Singtel was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on Thursday night, the telco said on Friday, adding that he is currently in hospital receiving treatment.

Singtel told The Business Times that the affected staff did not need to meet customers and was not one of the five new cases reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday.

The employee worked at Level 20 of the Singtel Comcentre 1 and was last in the office on Feb 26 before going on medical leave.

A Singtel spokesman said the telco's immediate priority is to manage and minimise the risk of infection at Singtel Comcentre 1. It has closed off Level 20 of the building and an MOH-approved cleaning crew was brought in overnight to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the entire floor.

Employees working on the same floor have been instructed to work from home for 14 days, closely monitor for symptoms of the virus and practise strict social distancing while the company conducts contact tracing in tandem with MOH.

"We are moving as fast as we can to ensure all parties who have been in close contact with our affected colleague can be identified swiftly," the spokesman said.

"While this is unfortunate news, our team segregation and workplace diversity measures have been strictly practised since Dorscon (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) Orange was announced."

The telco's business continuity plans include strict travel bans and declaration requirements besides stringent visitor controls.

It has also imposed a higher frequency of cleaning and disinfection of all office premises, which are equipped with temperature-screening capabilities and sanitisers.

Singtel shares were down S$0.04 or 1.3 per cent at S$2.95 as at 11.58am on Friday.

Singtel’s Comcentre is the latest addition to the growing list of commercial properties affected by the virus. Other affected buildings include One Raffles Quay and Suntec City.