HUNDREDS of employees at an office in London's Canary Wharf were sent home over coronavirus fears.
US oil company Chevron told 300 staff to work from home for the forseeable future after an employee reported flu-like symptoms.
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The firm was put on red alert after the worker reported sick following a trip to a country infected with coronavirus.
They were sent for testing and will be assessed over the coming days, a source told the FT.
Chevron staff, who work in offices in the Westferry area of Canary Wharf, have been told to stay away until the test results come in.
A spokesperson said the company was taking "precautionary measures to reduce their risk of exposure".
The firm added that it would “continue to monitor the situation very closely, utilising the guidance of international and local health authorities”.
Across London commuters have taken to wearing protective facemasks on the Underground as a shocking 80 per cent of Brits could be infected by deadly coronavirus, according to a doomsday scenario set out in official documents.
Thousands of us face mass coronavirus testing at GP surgeries as officials prepare for a worst-case scenario that could see 500,000 die.
Ministers are now considering the assumption that more than 50million people in the UK could catch the killer bug.
A memo seen by The Sun last night states that the “reasonable worst case” involves “up to 80 per cent of the population being infected”.
Public Health England now plans to test thousands of patients with flu-like symptoms via 11 hospitals and 100 GP practices to see if the virus has spread into the population.
The country, the NHS and the government is preparing for a range of scenarios and worst case has to be one.
It was today reported that anyone suffering from a severe chest infection at eight NHS hospitals will now be automatically tested for coronavirus – even if they haven't been at an at-risk country.
It comes as Italy has become the first European country gripped by an outbreak with 11 fatal cases and another 322 diagnosed with the virus.
The UK government have advised anyone who has gone north of Pisa to self-isolate themselves.
And according to the memo seen by the Sun, around half a million Brits — mostly the elderly or those with pre-existing illnesses — would die under the worst-case scenario, according to health sources.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning, Prof Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection, said: "The country, the NHS and the government is preparing for a range of scenarios and worst case has to be one.
"We're an awfully long way from that and it's difficult to know what will happen but we need to prepare as best we are able."
SCHOOL IS OUT
It comes as 25 schools have shut or turned pupils away amid coronavirus fears as plans are drawn up to close all UK classrooms and public transport if the virus becomes a pandemic.
Schools across the country were either on lockdown or sent pupils and staff home after they returned from trips in virus-hit northern Italy.
Cransley School in Northwich, Trinity Catholic College in Middlesbrough, Tudor Grange Academy Kingshurst in Birmingham and St Christopher's CofE High School in Accrington have all closed after staff and pupils returned from skiing trips in a coronavirus hit region of Italy.
William Martin CofE Junior, Infant and Nursery School in Essex, also closed today as a precaution after a member of staff returned from Italy.
DEATH TOLL RISES
The global death toll for virus, otherwise known as COVID-19, has now reached more than 2,760 while the number of cases worldwide sits at more than 81,000.
At least 52 British tourists have been padlocked inside a quarantined Tenerife hotel today with two guests tested positive for the virus.
And throughout northern Italy, 50,000 people have now been placed in total lockdown in 11 towns.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock today said if anyone has travelled to any quarantined area in Italy, they should self isolate no matter what.
He told BBC News: "Those have been to Northern Italy, anybody that has been to Italy north of Pisa should, if they have flu like symptoms, should self isolate – which means go home and try to stay out of contact with other people.
"If people have been to affected areas the Italian government have quarantined, then they should self isolate whether or not they have symptoms."
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