Companies around the globe have been asking staff to work from home as they work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and reduce its impact on global business.
Alphabet Inc’s Google joined Amazon.com, Facebook and Microsoft in recommending employees in the Seattle area to work from home, after many were infected with the coronavirus in the region
Seattle in Washington state has been most affected by the virus in the United States. Ten people have died out of 39 cases of infections through community transmission of the virus.
A Google spokesperson said the company made the decision after consulting with public health officials.
Seattle-headquartered Amazon recommended employees in the area to work from home through the end of the month, after an employee at its South Lake Union office complex in the city tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
Facebook on Thursday said it would shut its Seattle office until March 9 after a contractor at the location was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
HSBC has sent more than 100 of its London staff home after a worker tested positive for the coronavirus, the first known case at a major company in Europe’s main financial hub.
Italy’s UniCredit also told some staff to go home after two new infections were reported among its employees - one in Germany and one in Italy.
Banks globally are readying out-of-town offices and isolating some teams to ensure they can keep trading if coronavirus spreads in more major financial centres.
JPMorgan said in a memo on Thursday that it was moving traders in New York and London to a number of locations.
German fashion house Hugo Boss warned yesterday that the coronavirus will have a significant impact on its first-quarter results, with sales falling particularly in Asia, but also in other key markets.
Hugo Boss said it expects a gradual normalization by the middle of the year and forecast that currency-adjusted sales will rise from zero to 2% for the full year, including a single-digit decline in Asia/Pacific.
- The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
- Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999 and in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999