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Gulf Today Report
The mountain bluebird is all aflutter, thanks to the menacing coronavirus. Social media giant Twitter has in a major move drastically cut down on all needless travel, asking its 5,000 employees to work from home.
Twitter staff across the world were asked to work from home starting Monday in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus epidemic.
The outbreak has spread across the world since emerging in central China late last year, killing more than 3,100 people, infecting over 90,000, and prompting a wave of travel restrictions.
Twitter's head of human resources Jennifer Christie said, "Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us – and the world around us."
The company also said it was "strongly encouraging" its workers around the world to not come to work .
In a blog post, the social media giant said it was mandatory for staff in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea to work "remotely."
The post also highlighted that Twitter has been developing ways to work from home for some time: "While this is a big change for us, we have already been moving towards a more distributed workforce that's increasingly remote. We're a global service and we're committed to enabling anyone, anywhere to work at Twitter."
The social media platform's decision to ask its staff to avoid the office follows similar requests by governments in virus hotspots.
Other leading technology companies, including Facebook and Google, have postponed the conferences in the US.
Staff at Google's European headquarters in Dublin will work from home on Tuesday as the company tests its preparedness for a potential outbreak in Ireland, but most of the 8,000 workers are expected to return to their desks on Wednesday.
South Korea has recorded nearly 5,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections -- the largest number outside mainland China -- along with 28 deaths.
Japan's government has urged the closure of schools nationwide and employers to give their staff permission to work remotely.
Most civil servants in Hong Kong returned to work on Monday after they were asked to work from home for a month.
Twitter had already announced the suspension of "non-critical" business travel and events last week.
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