(Singapore, Feb 5, 2020) Employers and employees in Singapore should step up cleaning of workplace premises and serve customers who are unwell or have flu-like symptoms, the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Although the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first human-to-human transmission cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Singapore, there is as yet no evidence of widespread sustained community transmission in Singapore, officials said.

As part of the additional precautions, particularly for businesses which have frontline workers serving customers, local employers need to adopt sanitation and hygiene advisories disseminated by the National Environmental Agency (NEA).

NEA has also developed and released interim guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting areas exposed to confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, and provided a list of companies that can carry out disinfection works. These advisories have been disseminated to hotels, public and private transport operators, and F&B outlets, including hawker centres.

Also, employers should establish clear guidance to frontline staff on how to handle
customers who are unwell. For example, frontline workers can advise customers who
are visibly unwell to see a doctor. Customers could also be asked to reschedule their
appointments, or be served via alternate means.

If it is necessary to provide urgent services to customers who are unwell, employers
should also establish proper procedures to safeguard staff and premises. For example,
having frontline workers wear a surgical mask, and serving these customers separate
from other customers if possible.

Other precautionary measures that workers can take include: observing good personal hygiene, avoiding close contact with people who are unwell and consulting a doctor promptly if unwell or suffering from respiratory symptoms.

Employers and employees are strongly urged to exercise necessary precautions at the
workplace to prevent spread of 2019-nCoV.

So far, 24 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Singapore.