March 4, 2020 / 2:23 PM / a month ago

Swiss fragrances maker Givaudan shutters site near Zurich due to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss flavours and fragrances maker Givaudan is seen at its innovation center in Kemptthal, Switzerland January 10, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Givaudan (GIVN.S) has closed a facility near Zurich and told roughly 400 employees to work from home after one employee was confirmed infected with the new coronavirus, the Swiss fragrances and flavours maker said on Wednesday.

The affected site in Kemptthal includes a 120 million Swiss franc ($125.40 million) Innovation Centre opened last year following the Geneva-based company’s largest-ever research investment. A spokesman said the closure was indefinite and was a precautionary measure.

The infected employee was from another country and stayed for a short time at the plant, the spokesman said.

Switzerland has 54 confirmed cases of coronavirus and another 39 cases in which a first test was positive, said Daniel Koch, head of the communicable diseases unit at the Swiss Federal Department of Health, at a press conference on Wednesday.

Additionally, about 300 people are in quarantine, while labs in the country are currently testing about 200-plus suspected cases. “The numbers are now rising rapidly,” Koch told reporters in Bern.

Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S) on Wednesday imposed a worldwide travel ban for its employees due to the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 3,000 people and infected 93,000 and which has spread from China to about 90 countries including the United States, Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany.

Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill

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