CapitaLand closes six Chinese malls in response to coronavirus

CapitaLand has closed six shopping malls in China in wake of the coronavirus outbreak and set up a task force to coordinate its response across its operations in China and other markets where it operates.

The Singapore-headquartered company says it has also put in place business continuity plans under the leadership of Manohar Khiatani, its group senior executive director. 

The six malls were closed at the command of local governments. They are all four CapitaLand malls in Wuhan and both of its malls in Xi’an. However, supermarkets in CapitaMall Westgate, Wuhan and CapitaMall Xindicheng, Xi’an are still trading so as to allow locals to source food and essential daily supplies. 

“CapitaLand is monitoring developments of the [coronavirus] closely as the situation remains uncertain and continues to evolve,” said Lee Chee Koon, group CEO of CapitaLand Group in a statement issued Wednesday. 

“To date, the group’s business operations, including in China and Singapore, remain largely stable. Our priority is to focus on ensuring the well-being of our tenants, shoppers, guests and employees. We are all in this together during these trying times. CapitaLand will continue to work closely with the different local authorities in our markets to offer our support.”

Beyond the closures a raft of procedures have been implemented in malls still operational to protect tenants, staff and customers. 

CapitaLand properties in China have adopted precautionary measures including conducting temperature checks and intensifying cleaning and disinfecting of common areas. CapitaLand will conduct contact tracing and have designated premises at its properties for the isolation of persons suspected to be infected with the virus. The company is also providing hand sanitisers and face masks for tenants, shoppers and guests. 

Trading hours of the remaining 45 malls CapitaLand operates across China have been reduced in line with directives issued by local authorities. 

In Singapore, CapitaLand has stepping up cleaning procedures, and made hand sanitisers available for tenants, shoppers and guests. There are also designated premises with predetermined routes within its properties for the isolation of persons suspected to be infected with the virus. Security teams will escort any suspected cases to the ambulance pickup point. CapitaLand will step up precautionary measures further where necessary.

Employees have been told to defer all non-critical travel, especially to China and affected countries with known or suspected cases of coronavirus. Those who have recently returned from China have been advised to check their temperature twice daily for 14 days and during that time work remotely.

“CapitaLand’s business continuity plans guide our operations which includes how and when to limit the interaction of business-critical staff, to include working from alternate sites, working from home and the use of teleconferencing,” said Khiatani in a statement.

“Where necessary, operational personnel will be divided into primary and alternate teams. We will continue to monitor developments and the authorities’ directives, take the necessary steps to minimise impact to our operations and update our stakeholders in a timely manner.”


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