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Confirmed virus cases put heavy costs on companies

By Wainaina Wambu | July 9th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Companies, especially banks, are having to contend with business disruptions including temporary closures after confirming positive cases of the Covid-19 virus.

Absa Bank has become the latest firm to report positive cases in some of its branches, prompting it to kick start containment measures to protect staff and clients and also ensure smooth business continuity.

“We confirm that we have recently had some positive cases internally,” said Absa in a statement yesterday. This is after allegations emerged it was withholding information that at least four branches in Nairobi and Mombasa had been affected.

Absa said the affected employees had been sent into isolation including those they had interacted with. “The affected employees are doing well and are in isolation, in line with the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization guidelines.

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"They have also undergone counselling and we continue to accord them all the necessary support to help them cope with the situation,” said the lender.

“As soon as we become aware of any positive cases, we immediately identify those who work closely or may have interacted with the affected colleague and they go into self-quarantine and undergo the necessary tests.”

In March, one staffer at Diamond Trust Bank’s Kilifi branch tested positive for Covid-19 prompting DTB Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Nasim Devji to announce that the branch had been shut and all staff in direct contact with the person sent into 14-day isolation.

Hefty costs for containing Covid-19 outbreaks have now become a harsh reality for most firms. Companies will have to be adequately prepared to shut down to curb the spread.

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