Google Bangalore employee tests positive for coronavirus

Key Points
  • A Google employee based in its Bangalore, India office has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to an internal email.
  • The employee is quarantined and office workers have been asked to work from home.
Prakash Singh | AFP | Getty Images

A Google employee in its Bangalore, India, office has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and is in quarantine, according to internal documents viewed by CNBC.

"We are sorry to report that we have one confirmed case of a Bangalore-Based Googler testing positive for COVID-19," said Anand Rangarajan, director of engineering and Bangalore site lead for Google in an email to Bangalore employees Thursday.

"The Googler contracted the virus after traveling overseas, and was in the RMZ office on Monday, 9th March having not displayed any symptoms and passed the temperature screening," Rangarajan wrote. "A few hours later, the Googler felt unwell and decided to return home. They were subsequently screened at a government-authorized hospital, placed in government quarantine and today confirmed as being infected by COVID-19. We've been in in touch with the Googler and are offering our support."

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

It's the second known case of a Google employee contracting the disease and potentially being in contact with other workers. At the end of February, A Google employee from its Zurich office tested positive for the coronavirus, triggering the company's initial travel restrictions. As the outbreak has spread, Google this week told nearly all of its global employees to work from home for the coming weeks, including its more than 100,000 North American employees who were asked to work from home until at least April 10.

In his email Thursday, Rangarajan asked all employees to work from home Friday, March 13th, while it conducts "further sanitisation."

"Please do not come into the RMZ office over the weekend either," he stated. "We will be stopping food service and no meals will be served at the RMZ office starting tonight and over the weekend."

Rangarajan wrote that he will update employees on whether to return to the office by Sunday, March 15th.

Bangalore is one of several offices Google has in India, which mainly manage Search, services and product support. 

The Bangalore case was found at the RMZ Infinity office park in Bangalore, India, materials showed. Google and property owners asked everyone in the building to go home immediately causing panic, according to internal memos and two people who spoke with CNBC.

"[It's the] same building as where I'm working," Girish Prabhu who works in the same tower for the organization Refinitiv told CNBC. "Now this has hit hard mentally on all other employees."

"There are five to six companies in that tech park and we were all instructed to go home immediately," said Athul Kumar, who also works in the building.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The outbreak has killed more than 4,718 people and infected at least 127,800 people around the world.