Google asks Dublin staff to work from home as coronavirus precaution

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google has asked around 8,000 staff at its European headquarters in Dublin to work from home on Tuesday as a precaution after a staff-member reported flu-like symptoms.

The decision comes days after Ireland on Saturday confirmed its first case of coronavirus and closed down the school of the infected student. Ireland’s health minister on Monday evening said the country still has only one confirmed case.

Coronavirus, which emerged in China in late December, has spread to more than 60 countries has killed over 3,000 with over 86,500 infected.

“We continue to take precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of our workforce, and as part of that effort we have asked our Dublin teams to work from home tomorrow,” a Google spokeswoman said.

A source in the company said that “out of an abundance of caution” staff who had been in close contact with the individual in question had been asked to work from home until they had greater clarity about the risk.

Google declined to comment on the current status of the individual.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Lisa Shumaker