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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

6 Ambank branches in Penang closed due to Covid-19


The Ambank branch at Air Itam town earlier today. A notice on the door states that six branches, including this one, have been closed until further notice. A bank statement later said the closure was due to Covid-19 involving its staff.

GEORGE TOWN: Six out of the 14 Ambank branches in Penang have been closed until further notice, after “a number” of its staff were found to be positive with Covid-19.

A message going viral on social media said the infections were due to a party that had been attended by assistant bank managers from many of the branches.

Checks by FMT at three branches showed usual activities at the automated teller machines. However, over-the-counter activities have effectively ceased, a security guard at the bank at one branch said.

A bank officer showed a statement by the bank, saying that the health ministry detected “a number” of its staff positive for Covid-19.

Ambank said it would sanitise the affected outlets, trace those who had come into close contact with its staff and resume operations once the all-clear was given by the ministry.

“The safety of our staff and customers is our priority and we have taken all measures to mitigate the risk of further infection.

“As an alternative, customers may visit our branches located in Lebuh Pantai, Menara Liang Court and Pulau Tikus,” the statement read.

The closed branches are in Jelutong, Gelugor, Bayan Baru, Ayer Itam, Balik Pulau and Tanjung Bungah.

Yesterday, a person claiming to be a bank staff had revealed in a viral message that the infections spread at a dinner hosted for the assistant bank managers of nine Ambank branches at a restaurant on April 20. A total of 13 people attended.

According to the message, one of the attendees tested positive the following day, along with several others. Two are in critical condition at the Penang Hospital, said the message, which also set out their designations and the branches they are attached to.

By April 24, 11 staff from various branches had been found positive, it said.

The message also claimed that the management had told employees not to go for tests unless they feel unwell or uneasy, but they would have to pay for the tests themselves. “If positive, need to take own annual leaves, no compensations,” it said.

“The rest of the staff still need to work, and there will not be any relief staff being transferred from other branches as we are short of manpower,” the message read.

FMT has reached out to Ambank for comment over the viral message. - FMT

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