BT boss Philip Jansen has been diagnosed with coronavirus but will continue to work remotely.
The telecoms group confirmed that Jansen had tested positive for Covid-19 this afternoon and as a result is in self-isolation.
BT said it is now working closely with Public Health England to undertake a full deep clean of relevant parts of its headquarters. It added it will “ensure those employees who have had contact with Philip are appropriately advised.”
Jansen said: “Having felt slightly unwell I decided as a precaution to be tested. As soon as the test results were known I isolated myself at home.”
“I’ve met several industry partners this week so felt it was the responsible thing to do to alert them to this fact as soon as I could.”
“Given my symptoms seem relatively mild, I will continue to lead BT but work with my team remotely over the coming week. There will be no disruption to the business.”
There are now 595 confirmed cases across the UK, but chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance confirmed that the actual number was likely to be far higher – as much as 10,000.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the UK is moving into the delay stage of dealing with the outbreak.
As a result, people with mild symptoms including a cough and fever should self-isolate for seven days. Chief medical officer Chris Witty said evidence suggested that “people with really quite mild symptoms can spread this disease”, however in most cases it abated within a week.
Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that all schools, colleges and other public facilities in the Republic of Ireland will be closed from Friday until 29 March.
He also said that indoor public gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people will be cancelled.