Business / Corporate

5,000 Dentsu employees to telework after staffer at Tokyo headquarters contracts COVID-19

JIJI, Kyodo, Bloomberg

Major advertising agency Dentsu Group Inc. imposed an emergency workplace protocol Wednesday, ordering about 5,000 staffers at its headquarters in Tokyo to work from home after an employee was confirmed to have the COVID-19 coronavirus Monday.

The employee, in his 50s, is hospitalized but not in serious condition, according to the advertising agency.

Four employees identified by public health officials as having had close contact with him began to telework Tuesday, it said. Dentsu has also stopped visitors from entering its headquarters from Wednesday.

After the steps were announced Tuesday evening, Dentsu shares plunged during Wednesday morning trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. But the stock regained lost ground and ended the day at ¥3,040, down 0.65 percent.

Other companies are taking similar steps. Orix Life Insurance Corp. said Wednesday that an employee of an affiliate based at its Tokyo headquarters in Shinjuku Ward had tested positive for the virus. The company is urging all employees to work remotely.

Cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. has adopted a similar policy, asking about 8,000 employees, or about 30 percent of its domestic workforce, to work remotely in principle from Wednesday to March 6.

No coronavirus infection has been confirmed among Shiseido workers.

Shiseido employees working remotely include executives, while factory workers and beauty shop sales clerks will go to their workplaces as usual.

Meanwhile, building developer Mitsubishi Estate Co. said a person infected with the virus had been at its Shin Maru Building in Tokyo’s central Marunouchi business district.

The 38-floor office and shopping complex is home to companies including SMBC Nikko Securities, Carlyle Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance.

Mitsubishi Estate says areas visited by the person have been disinfected.

Your news needs your support

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.

Coronavirus banner