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Coronavirus: What to do if someone at work is a suspect case

Source | | Nurhuda Syed

What should employers do if a suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19 is detected at work?

After several office evacuations made over COVID-19 cases recently, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issued an advisory this week to guide employers on appropriate measures to take.

Separately, an MOM spokesperson warned against sending workers to hospitals simply to test them for the coronavirus. This may be deemed an “irresponsible misuse of medical facilities” and result in suspended work pass privileges.

In the message seen by The Straits Times, the spokesperson explained that workers should only be sent to the hospital if it is a medical emergency. This ensures that they can focus resources on individuals who need treatment — those who are well will not be tested.

READ MORE: Deadly coronavirus: What HR needs to know

How to manage cases of infection
At work, employees may come into regular contact with co-workers, customers as well as contractors. Hence, MOM encouraged employers to do the following if there is a suspect or confirmed case:

  • Provide timely information to employees on latest developments
  • Reassure employees and relevant persons, e.g. customers, of the measures being taken to ensure their well-being at the workplace
  • Show care and concern to persons who are either confirmed or suspected of infection
  • Coordinate with suppliers or contractors to manage their own employees, if applicable

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