Major Australian companies, including Foxtel CLOSE offices in Sydney, feared staff could have been exposed to coronavirus
- Media agency OMD and the ad arm of Foxtel closed their Pyrmont offices on Friday
- Terrified by OMD executive visit from London that fell ill days later
- He had flown home via Singapore and had flu-like symptoms this week
- Foxtel employees were at OMD at the time and now work from home
At least two media companies have sent their staff home in Sydney for fear of being exposed to coronavirus by a visiting director.
Foxtel and media agency OMD both cleared their Pyrmont offices on Friday and there are reports that a third company has done the same.
The fear arose when OMD’s London office was closed Thursday morning local time after the employee fell ill.
Foxtel and media agency OMD cleaned their Pyrmont offices (on the photo of Foxtel) on Friday and there are reports that a third company has done the same
He developed flu-like symptoms a few days after returning from a trip to Australia via Singapore, where more than 90 people are infected.
Foxtel sent all 10 employees of its Foxtel Media advertising branch home after some of them had visited OMD during the management visit.
In an email to all employees, OMD CEO Aimee Buchanan said the office in Sydney would be closed on Friday and possibly on Monday.
“Given the outbreak of coronavirus worldwide, we will act as a precaution and close the OMD office in Sydney until we get permission from our UK office,” she wrote.
Employees were instructed to work from home or a ‘suitable location’ and only came to the office to pick up their laptop and leave immediately.
“Although this is not a confirmed case of coronavirus, we have taken this precaution because the health and safety of our employees is our top priority,” said Australian boss Peter Horgan.
“Last week OMD Australia also informed all visitors to its office in Sydney.”
OMD’s office in Sydney is closed on Friday, while expecting test results for the London employee who fell ill after a visit
Foxtel told Daily Mail Australia that it would wait for the test results of the OMD director before the staff working from home are sent back to the office.
“Although Foxtel has no direct concerns about the staff, the decision was made with a great deal of caution, since a small number of Foxtel Media employees had been working in OMD offices last week,” it said.
It was not clear whether Foxtel employees had been in contact with the possibly infected manager.
The Foxtel head office in North Ryde works normally.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 23
NEW SOUTH WALES: 4
- Three men, 43, 53 and 35 years old who had recently traveled to China, contracted the disease.
- Two flew in from Wuhan, while the other arrived in Sydney from Shenzhen, South China.
- They were treated isolated at Westmead Hospital
- A 21-year-old woman is identified as the fourth person who tested positive for the disease in NSW.
- The woman, a student at the UNSW, flew on flight MU749 to Sydney International Airport on January 23 and presented to the emergency department 24 hours later after developing flu-like symptoms.
- A Chinese citizen aged fifty will be the first confirmed case of the corona virus in Australia.
- The man flew from Wuhan via Guangzhou to Melbourne on January 19 on the Southern Southern flight CZ321.
- He was quarantined at the Monash Hospital in Clayton in the east of Melbourne.
- A Victorian man in his sixties is diagnosed with the corona virus.
- He became unwell on January 23 – two days after his return from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
- The man was confirmed as positive on January 29 and was subsequently seen by doctors at the Monash Medical Center.
- A woman in her forties has a corona virus.
- She was visiting from China and mainly spent time with her family.
- She is being treated at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
- A woman in her twenties in Melbourne appears to have the virus
- Two passengers left positively from the Diamond Princess cruise ship test
- Third passenger departed from the cruise ship test positive
QUEEN COUNTRY: 8
- Queensland confirms its first case after the virus was diagnosed with a 44-year-old Chinese national. He is being treated at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
- A 42-year-old Chinese woman who traveled in the same Wuhan travel group as the 44-year-old man tested positive. She is in stable condition at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
- An eight-year-old boy was diagnosed with coronavirus. He also comes from the travel group where the other Queensland cases came from
- A 37-year-old man, who was a member of a group of nine Chinese tourists in quarantine on the Gold Coast, also tested positive
- A 37-year-old woman was diagnosed with coronavirus from the same travel group that flew from Melbourne to Queensland on January 27
- Two Queensland women, 54 and 55 years old, tested positive for COVID-19 and are flown to Brisbane for further treatment.
- A 57-year-old woman from Queensland also tested positive for the virus
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 3
- A Chinese couple in their sixties who arrived from Wuhan in Adelaide to visit relatives confirmed that they have coronavirus.
- A 24-year-old woman from South Australia was transferred to Royal Adelaide Hospital
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1
- A 78-year-old man from Western Australia was transferred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth. On 28 February he was brought to intensive care in a ‘serious’ condition
DIAMOND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP: 8
- Of the 23 general cases in Australia, eight contracted the disease on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which had been quarantined in the Japanese port of Yokohama
- They tested positive for the corona virus after arriving at the facility of Manigurr-ma Village Howard Springs in Darwin, and are now being treated in their home state