Coronavirus fears as Canary Wharf office block sends home 300 employees

More than 300 workers were sent home from a London office block after an employee showed symptoms similar to coronavirus.

Chevron Corp asked about 300 British employees to work temporarily from home after the worker returned from an affected country with a flu-like illness.

Traders, exploration and refining unit staff were told to stay at home until test results can determine whether the worker has coronavirus, said a person familiar with the matter. 

"Chevron continues to monitor the situation very closely, utilizing the guidance of international and local health authorities," said a Chevron spokeswoman.

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"Our primary concern is the health and safety of our employees and we are taking precautionary measures to reduce their risk of exposure. It is our policy to not provide details of our employees."

Coronavirus could kill half a million people and infect 80 per cent of Britons in a "worst case scenario", a Government document warns.

Vulnerable Britons, including the elderly and people with pre-existing illnesses, would be most at-risk and the NHS would be put under immense pressure if the virus sweeps the UK.

The planning memo warns that four in five Britons – or more than 50million – could be infected by the flu-like virus, also known as Covid-19, which is rapidly spreading across Europe.

Thousands are facing random tests as early detection methods are ramped up at 11 hospitals and more than 100 GP surgeries.

As of February 25, a total of 6,795 people have been tested in the UK with 13 positive cases.

The Department of Health also added Iran, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and parts of northern Italy to the list of places where travellers need to follow clinical advice.

China has reported 78,064 cases and 2,715 deaths, while South Korea has the second highest number of cases with 1,261 and 11 deaths.

Early on Wednesday the US military said one of its soldiers based in South Korea has also tested positive for Covid-19.

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