Coronavirus: HSBC evacuates part of Canary Wharf HQ amid fears

HSBC evacuates part of its Canary Wharf HQ after worker tests positive for coronavirus

  • British banking giant cleared its research department today after analyst fell ill
  • The worker tested positive for the virus in first case in London’s financial district  
  • Office space is now being deep cleaned before employees are allowed to return
  • Number of confirmed UK cases today rose to 90, including three NHS workers 

HSBC today evacuated part of its UK headquarters after a worker tested positive for coronavirus in the first known case at the heart of London‘s financial district. 

Staff who came into contact with the analyst were told to work from home as the company’s research department underwent an urgent deep clean. 

The office is in the centre of Canary Wharf, a major financial centre that hosts many investment banks, including Citi, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Barclays. 

The UK banking giant cleared its research department in Canary Wharf after an analyst came down with flu-like symptoms. File photo 

Several other offices have already been evacuated over coronavirus fears, with Sony Pictures Entertainment closing its London headquarters over fears one of its staff had been exposed to the infection.

Deloitte also shut parts of their offices in the capital for a deep clean yesterday after a worker tested positive since returning from Asia, while a similar closure happened at Nike. 

Meanwhile, an Apple office in Belfast was yesterday seen being disinfected by workers in hazmat suits, in what the technology giant insisted was a pre-planned planned operation. 

The virus has now infected 90 people in the UK including at least four NHS staff, who are particularly vulnerable to infection. 

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, today said it is ‘highly likely’ that the virus is now spreading inside the UK among people who haven’t travelled.

He added that more cases will appear in the UK and it is unlikely that authorities will be able to prevent an outbreak at some point.

But Professor Whitty said he did not expect cases to be worse among healthcare workers because they would be told by bosses not to work through illness and to go home at the first sight of an infection. 

HSBC has been contacted for comment.   

The number of UK coronavirus cases has hit 90 with fears the rate could accelerate

The number of UK coronavirus cases has hit 90 with fears the rate could accelerate

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