Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Commuters wait for their ride next to an advertisement of Grab’s transport booking service app in Singapore. Photo: Reuters

Grab shuts Singapore, Thailand offices after coronavirus infection

  • The shutdown comes after Facebook, with offices in the same building as Grab in Singapore, confirmed an employee was diagnosed with the virus

Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings closed its offices in Singapore and Thailand for five days of cleaning after a Singapore-based employee, who previously visited the Bangkok office, tested positive for the coronavirus.

“One employee who is based in our corporate office at Marina One West Tower in Singapore has come down with Covid-19,” Grab said on Monday in an emailed statement. “The employee tested positive on March 7 and is currently in hospital receiving treatment.”

The infection at Grab comes after Facebook, which also has offices at the Marina One building in Singapore, confirmed an employee there was diagnosed with the virus.

Facebook said it closed the affected areas for deep cleaning and advised employees in those areas to work from home until March 13.

The US social media company also closed its London offices until Monday for cleaning because the infected employee had visited in February.

The rapid spread of Covid-19, which erupted in China, is forcing office closures around the world. Technology giants from Apple to Google are also advising employees to work from home.

Singapore has 150 confirmed cases, though scores have recovered, according to the local authorities. The Minister for Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, said on Saturday the city state must be prepared to see a spike in cases, which could be “significantly different from the numbers we are seeing today, and we must never be complacent”.

Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.