Parts Of SBI Corporate Headquarters Under Lockdown After Covid Cases
Signage for the State Bank of India Ltd. (SBI) is seen at a branch in Mumbai, India (Photographer Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Parts Of SBI Corporate Headquarters Under Lockdown After Covid Cases

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India had to lock down six floors at its corporate headquarters in Mumbai starting Friday after a few officials were found to have contracted the Covid-19 virus, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

A few positive cases were detected last week at the corporate centre, including in the bank’s stressed asset vertical, following which, this decision was taken.

According to the people quoted above, sanitation processes as prescribed by authorities have been underway on these six floors. They will likely be reopened on Tuesday. Currently, the bank is conducting its operations under the business continuity plan approved by its board.

Starting Tuesday, the top management of the bank will be back at office on a daily basis, one of the people quoted above said. The other officials of the bank will attend office on every alternate day, in a way that at least half of the workforce are available at the headquarters.

A spokesperson for SBI was not immediately available.

The number of Covid cases has continued to rise in India. On Monday, total number of Covid-19 positive cases crossed the 60 lakh mark. In the last 24 hours more than 82,000 positive cases were reported. At least 50 lakh patients have recovered since they were reported as positive. Maharashtra continues to have among the highest cases at a total count of 13.39 lakh. Mumbai has reported 1.98 lakh cases so far.

Soon after the Covid crisis hit India, the Reserve Bank of India had asked lenders to prepare a business continuity plan to ensure banking operations are not impacted. Among the steps recommended by the RBI was a strategy and monitoring mechanism to ensure that any spread of the disease within the organisation is prevented. Banks were asked to sensitize staff members about preventive measures and steps to be taken in suspected cases.

The regulator also asked that all critical processes be planned in a way to ensure continuity in the event of absenteeism either driven by the individual cases of infections or preventive measures.

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