Per The Independent, social media behemoth Facebook, has shut down its London offices after one of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus codenamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.
Subsequently, the premises have been closed immediately, while its facilities will be cleaned deep. The said employee came from the company’s Singapore office, and has been diagnosed with the virus.
“An employee based in our Singapore office who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 visited our London offices February 24-26 2020,” a Facebook spokesperson said per The Independent. “We are therefore closing our London offices until Monday for deep cleaning and employees are working from home until then.”
Facebook has more than 3,000 employees across its offices in London, and is now contacting other employees who have in recent times visited its offices in the capital. The company has also informed every employee that has had contact with the person involved to self-isolate and be vigilant in watching for symptoms of the virus.
In February, Facebook cancelled its global marketing conference due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in China and in some other parts of the world. The summit was scheduled to hold this March in San Francisco.
Also, this year’s F8 Conference will no longer hold, Facebook announced last week. The social media giant in a blog post on said the cancelation was due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. “Given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 2020,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Facebook said it was a tough call to make—and understandably so considering how vital the annual conference is to Facebook’s plans. The conference allows Facebook and its developers to come together every year to celebrate achievements and plan ahead.
“We need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on. We explored other ways to keep the in-person part of F8, but it’s important to us to host an inclusive event and it didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance.”
Facebook is however, planning other ways so that its community could get together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos and li.ve streamed content. The social media giant has promised to provide more information about that in the coming weeks.
Google announced a similar decision—the company said that its Global News Initiative summit scheduled to hold Sunnyvale, California in late April will no longer take place. The event brings together hundreds of media personalities in the industry in the Google’s Sunnyvale office. “We regret that we have to cancel our global Google News Initiative summit but the health and wellbeing of our guests is our number one priority,” said Richard Gingras, vice president of news per CNBC.