NEW DELHI: An employee of HCL Technologies has tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection, or COVID-19, forcing the information technology firm to ask most of its staff members to work from home.
“Unfortunately, one employee from our Noida office has been tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus while he was in self-isolation after his return from international travel and hence our office is following all government and heath advisory protocols. All prescribed protocols of sanitization and contact tracing have been done," a spokesperson for HCL Tech said. The employee is currently in an isolation ward.
The company has invoked its COVID-19 contingency plan in all geographies to maximize work from home and also issued a travel advisory across the company's units, suspending all non-essential travel.
The contingency plan was already being enforced in China and south east Asian offices of the company when the virus had spread to these regions, an official said on condition of anonymity. HCL Tech had also set up a pandemic response team to take decisions to curb the spread of the infection among its employees, the official said.
No information has been given by the central or the Uttar Pradesh government as yet on the employee.
There have been 168 cases of the infection in India, with three deaths so far, while 15 have recovered, according to a release by Indian Council of Medical Research. Over the last one week, the number of positive cases has doubled from 78.
Since the outbreak started in Wuhan, China in December, there are over 218,000 cases globally, with 8,810 of them dying and around 84,000 of them recovering.
While the cases in China have largely subsided, those in other countries, especially Italy, Iran, Spain, Germany and the US have risen dramatically over the last couple of weeks, forcing the World Health Organization to declare the disease a pandemic.