Sibos 'business as usual' says Swift as SARS returns to Singapore

Sibos 'business as usual' says Swift as SARS returns to Singapore

Swift is sending out 'business as usual' signals following an isolated incidence of the deadly SARS virus in Singapore, location for the interbank messaging network's showpiece annual Sibos conference and exhibition in October.

Singaporean health ministry officials have confirmed that a 27-year old microbiology student has tested positive for SARS, representing the first new case of the respiratory disease in five months. A further 25 people who have been in close contact with the student have been quarantined as a precautionary measure, although none have shown any symptoms.

The World Health Organisation is still to confirm the case, saying that its criteria for diagnosis has not been satisfied yet.

In a statement, Swift says: "Given the isolated nature of this case, Swift will not change its Sibos plans nor its travel and visitor access policies at this time. We continue to monitor the assessments of third party experts, including the Singapore Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation and will act in accordance with their recommendations."

The news is a fresh blow for the banking co-operative, which has been struggling to lift attendance for the week-long event in the wake of the Iraq and SARS crises, and the general economic downturn.

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