Chevron office in London sends 300 staff home after employee falls ill

Bronwen Weatherby
Citigroup's European HQ in Canary Wharf: AFP via Getty Images

A US oil company has sent 300 of its workers home from their London office amid coronavirus fears.

Chevron was on high-alert on Tuesday after an employee, who had travelled to a Covid-19 infected country, reported flu-like symptoms.

On Wednesday, the staff at the Canary Wharf base were told to work from home while the officers were put on lockdown so tests could be carried out.

The potentially-infected worker has been sent for an assessment and the result will come in over the next few days, a source told the FT.

A spokesperson for the company said: "Chevron continues to monitor the situation very closely, utilizing the guidance of international and local health authorities.

"Our primary concern is the health and safety of our employees and we are taking precautionary measures to reduce their risk of exposure.

"Consequently we have requested that our colleagues, based at our Westferry Circus office in London, work from home for the time being. It is our policy to not provide details of our employees."

The Government is now preparing for an outbreak of coronavirus in the UK (AFP via Getty Images)

The Westferry Circus office is home to several hundred Chevron (CVX) employees, including commodity traders, shipping experts and lawyers.

Canary Wharf is in east London and is one of the biggest financial districts in the world, home to HSBC, Barclays, JPMorgan and many more.

This latest scare is another example of how the coronavirus outbreak is disrupting world trade and business.

Coronavirus outbreak

An official government document seen on Wednesday revealed the Government is preparing for the possible worst-case scenario that 80 per cent of Brits could be infected by coronavirus.

It means 50 million could catch the virus and with a mortality rate of one per cent 500,000 people could die.

Pictures emerged today or Londoners wearing protective masks to commute while authorities confirmed they were ramping up its plans to combat the encroaching disease.

The London office of oil giant Chevron based in Canary Wharf has been put on lockdown this week after an employee presented with flu-like symptoms.

Public Health England is planning on testing thousands of patients presenting with flu-like symptoms.

It comes as France reported its second death since the outbreak to be a 60-year-old Frenchman.

The country was the location of the first Covid-19 death in Europe which was a Chinese tourist who died on February 15.

Italy has become another epicentre of the outbreak and authorities said the number of people infected in the country grew to 322, or up 45 per cent in 24 hours, and 11 people have now died.

South Korean authorities have reported a rise of 169 more cases of the coronavirus known as Covid-19, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 1,146.

Eleven South Korean fatalities have also been reported, mostly at a hospital in the county of Cheongdo, near Daegu.

Tourists are currently quarantined inside a hotel in Tenerife after a number of people fell ill.

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