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Our coverage on COVID‑19

Another major company closes its offices due to COVID-19 outbreak

After news emerged that Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out a memo that encouraged employees to stay home, Grab has now shut down its Marina One offices for “cleaning and disinfecting”. Staff have been asked to work from home temporarily until the 11th of March, Wednesday—a Grab employee recently tested positive for COVID-19.

According to The Straits Times in Singapore, the infection was discovered on the 7th of March:

“Grab confirms that one employee who is based in our corporate office at Marina One West Tower in Singapore has come down with Covid-19.”

Grab also says that they will be providing the infected individual and loved ones with “support and guidance”, and will also close all of Grab’s Marina One offices to start the disinfecting process. The building management for Marina One has also been caught up to date, and lifts and common areas in the West Tower (where Grab resides) have been sanitised.

As mentioned, all of Grab’s staff that works in the Marina One offices will be working from home till the 11th of March, and more precautionary measures will be taken if developments require so. For now, the e-hailing company will continue to monitor the situation.

Grab has also assured the public that the concerned individual has not had contact with service staff or any of Grab’s front-line drivers or riders. That said, the company is working with health authorities to trace any potential forms of close contact that the infected employee may have had with others.

This comes as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact multiple industries. In addition to the Apple CEO’s memo, Facebook has also closed its Marina One office due to a COVID-19 infection. Additionally, Apple has warned of a shortage of iPhones due to the impact of the outbreak on the manufacturing industry, and travel for employees is restricted for many companies across multiple sectors.

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As of yesterday morning, 8am, 109,795 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed across 104 countries around the globe. Meanwhile, Italy is now in lockdown with the death toll rising to 463—Italy is now the most affected country outside of China, with confirmed cases reaching the 10,000 mark.

Remote working arrangements are possibly the wisest thing to do, for now. As mentioned in the past, technology has developed to the point that collaborative efforts can still be worked on remotely, with cloud-based solutions and broadband speeds sufficient.


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