HSBC Clears The Entire London Office Floor As Employee Tests Positive For Coronavirus

HSBC Holdings plc HSBC on Thursday emptied an entire floor in its Canary Wharf office in London after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Guardian reported.

What Happened

"We have been informed that one of our employees at 8 Canada Square has been diagnosed with [COVID-19,]" HSBC said in a statement to the Guardian. "This colleague is under medical supervision and has self-isolated."

HSBC further added that all other employees who were in close contact with the infected person have been asked to work from home, and the affected areas are being deep-cleaned.

The rest of the office building, including trading desks, remains functional as usual, HSBC said.

The bank had earlier confirmed an infection among employees in China in January, and the spokesperson told the Guardian that the two cases are unrelated.

The banker had earlier asked about 20 employees in its global banking division to stay home after one worker came in contact with an infected person, per the Guardian.

Why It Matters

The United Kingdom on Thursday also confirmed its first death from the coronavirus, a woman with underlying health conditions.

At least 116 cases of the COVID-19 have been confirmed across the U.K., according to data from Johns Hopkins University, as global cases near 100,000.

HSBC is one of the worst affected lenders during the outbreak, as its key markets in Asia region, including mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan, are at the center of the outbreak.

Earlier in February, the financial behemoth said it expects financial losses from the coronavirus outbreak. It is set to release its first-quarter earnings report on April 26.

Price Action

HSBC shares closed 1.5% lower at $32.73 in New York on Thursday.

The stock closed 2.22% lower at $6.52 per share in Hong Kong on Friday.

Photo Credit: Public domain photo via Wikimedia.

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