London’s Canary Wharf in coronavirus panic: HSBC offices evacuated

London’s Canary Wharf in coronavirus panic: HSBC offices evacuated

The UK banking giant has cleared its research department after one of its analysts displayed flu-like symptoms. This area is currently being deep-cleaned. has contacted HSBC for comment.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has surged to 90.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Thursday Britain is moving into the second of four phases in its battle plan against the deadly disease.

He told MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee: “The original plan was very much predicated on the idea of ‘if it could be controlled in China and contained everywhere else, this virus might go away’.

“I think the chances of that happening are now very slim. Slim to zero.”

The delay phase means measures to tackle coronavirus are ramped up to delay its spread.

The Government published its battle plan earlier this week, which says of the delay phase: “Action that would be considered could include population distancing strategies (such as school closures, encouraging greater home working, reducing the number of large-scale gatherings) to slow the spread of the disease throughout the population, while ensuring the country’s ability to continue to run as normally as possible.”

Professor Whitty also told MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee it is now “highly likely” there is “community transmission” of coronavirus in the UK.

He added: “I’m expecting the number only to go up, and there are now several – not large numbers – but several cases where we cannot see where this has come from in terms of a clear transmission, either because someone has come directly from overseas or because they’ve had a close contact with someone who has recently returned from overseas.

“That I think makes it highly likely therefore that there is some level of community transmission of this virus in the UK now.

“I think we should work on the assumption it is here, on very low levels, at this point in time – but that I think should be the working assumption on which we go forward from this point onwards.”

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

Published at Thu, 05 Mar 2020 11:34:00 +0000