Goldman Sachs has confirmed that one of its investment banking staff in Hong Kong is likely to have Covid-19.
“We want to inform you that one of our colleagues in the Investment Banking Division (IBD) on the 60th floor of our Cheung Kong Center office in Hong Kong has been identified as a highly probable case of COVID-19. This individual has been self-isolating at home since Tuesday, March 17 and is currently undergoing further tests in hospital,” says a statement from the bank.
The Hong Kong case follows infections at Goldman in New York, London, Salt Lake City, and Sydney.
Goldman says the employee is “feeling unwell but not currently experiencing any serious symptoms”. They have not recently travelled.
The US bank is in contact with the Hong Kong Health Department and is in the process of identifying and notifying those who were in close contact with them. “These colleagues will also be in self-isolation at home for 14 days and they will require wellness clearance before returning to work in the office,” says the GS statement.
The entire 60th and 67th floors of Goldman’s Cheung Kong Center office will undergo deep cleaning tonight “using products deemed effective against COVID-19”. All IBD employees working on these floors have been asked to leave by 8:15pm Hong Kong time and work from home until further notice.
All common areas in the building, Goldman’s flagship Asian office, will also undergo deep cleaning. The rest of the office will be open on Wednesday morning, although staff who are not comfortable coming in can discuss work-from-home arrangements with their managers.
Goldman has set up a page on its site in order to increase transparency about Covid-19 and the firm's reaction to it.
Despite an early outbreak of the virus back in January, containment policies in Hong Kong mean the territory still has a comparatively low number of coronavirus infections. There are 208 confirmed cases, of which 98 have been discharged. However, the Hong Kong government is warning against complacency, because of a recent uptick in cases, mostly imported from abroad. This week the government advised against non-essential overseas travel, and required all people arriving in the city to self-isolate for 14 days.
As we reported yesterday, expat bankers who went home in February are rushing back to Hong Kong as the virus spreads across Europe and the US.
Last week two gyms in Hong Kong’s financial district were deep cleaned after being visited by two people infected with the virus.
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