HSBC’s London office in Canary Wharf has evacuated its entire research department on Thursday morning after an employee tested positive for the Coronavirus, Financial News reports .
NEW: I’m told HSBC has evacuated parts of its Canary Wharf office after a coronavirus scare.
— Shehab Khan (@ShehabKhan) March 5, 2020
The research department was then “deep-cleaned and sanitized”, according to a person familiar with the matter. The lender’s trading floor in the Canary Wharf office has currently not been impacted, the person said.
“If confirmed, it would mark the first case of the respiratory illness at a major financial institution in the UK and come in the same week that professional services firm Deloitte said a member of its London team was suffering from the virus,” said FN.
The news of a possible virus breakout in London’s financial district comes as the UK saw its most significant day-on-day increase in virus cases on Wednesday, bringing confirmed cases to a total of 87. Health minister Edward Argar told BBC this week the UK was “still very much” in the first “contain” phase of the government’s four-phase response to the virus.
UK’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty has said that in “the worst-case scenario,” 80% of the UK population could be infected with Covid-19.
Earlier in the day, Italy’s largest bank, UniCredit, said in a statement that its business center at Largo Cesare Battisti in Piacenza has been closed since Sunday after an employee tested positive for the Coronavirus. The Milan-based bank has asked employees who have been in contact with infected colleague to go in quarantine for 14 days. UniCredit also said it would contact clients who have recently visited the Piacenza office, The lender has already taken steps to contain the spread of the virus including encouraging employees to work from home and banning non-essential travel both in Italy and abroad.