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DORSCON Orange: Additional advisories for financial institutions, FDW employers

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Following the raising of the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) Alert Level to orange, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a new advisory to financial institutions.

The new advisory calls on financial institutions to adopt the additional recommended measures by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), while ensuring the following when carrying out their business continuity plans:

  • Continue to maintain effective internal controls across their operations should split team arrangements be implemented.
  • 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
  • Monitor and support staff morale.

Additionally, financial institutions are reminded to remain vigilant on the cyber security front as there have been cases of cyber threat actors taking advantage of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation to conduct email scams, phishing and ransomware attacks.

Scammers have also been known to impersonate MOH contact tracing officials and request for financial information from individuals.

The advisory reiterates that MOH does not ask for financial information during contact tracing calls. It also advised members of the public are to verify the authenticity of the phone calls with the MOH hotline (Tel: 6325 9220) if they have any doubts about the caller’s identity.

MAS is closely monitoring the 2019-nCoV situation and remains engaged with financial institutions to ensure that appropriate business continuity plans are in place.

Alternative rest day arrangements for FDWs, regular temperature screening, and more

Following the announcement that a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) had been infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the MOM, Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) have shared measures that employers and FDWs  can adopt to protect themselves and their households.

Among the measures include discussing alternative rest day arrangements.

Households with young children, elderly or those with illnesses or special needs at home, may be concerned with the risk of transmission should their FDW contract the virus while out on their rest day.

In line with that, the MOM encourages employers to discuss alternatives with their FDW and come to a mutual agreement on rest day arrangements. For example:

  • During this period, if FDWs agree to spend their rest day at home, employers should not assign work to their FDW on the rest day.
  • If FDWs agree to forgo their rest days during this period, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.
  • FDWs who intend to go out on their rest day should avoid crowded places and large gatherings; and avoid close contact with those who display flu-like symptoms.

Employers are also encouraged to discuss additional precautions to be adopted for FDWs who are required to care for young children, elderly, or those with illnesses or special needs. These include:

  • Monitoring the health of those under her care closely and to highlight immediately any symptoms.
  • Conducting regular temperature screening for those under FDW’s care.

Apart from that, employers may wish to consider having everyone in the household, including the FDW, take their temperature at least twice a day, and check for any respiratory symptoms.

If FDWs are unwell, employers should allow adequate rest after seeing the doctor. If possible, employers should consider arrangements to minimise contact between unwell FDWs and those under their care.

Above all, employers and FDWs are encouraged to practise good personal hygiene. FDWs can also help ensure that those under their care, including young children, practise good hygiene.

  • Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before handling food or eating, or after going to the toilet.
  • Cover one’s mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of soiled tissue in the bin immediately.
  • Avoid sharing food/drinks, utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others.
  • If one is feeling unwell or develops symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, to wear a mask and see a doctor immediately.

Photo / iStock

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