FOUR schoolmates of Prince George and Princess Charlotte have been placed in isolation at home amid fears they have the coronavirus.
Two of the affected pupils have reported flu-like symptoms after their return from a school trip to Italy, where the death toll hit 12 yesterday.
Thomas’s Battersea school in west London is among more than 30 across the country that have sent youngsters home or closed altogether because of concerns about spreading Covid-19.
And hundreds of UK office workers have been told to stay away by bosses as fears of a major outbreak here grow.
More than 300 employees at energy firm Chevron were ordered out of its British HQ in London’s Canary Wharf because a colleague who had been abroad had reported flu-like symptoms. Staff at Crossrail who share the same building were also sent home.
And media agency OMD, which has 350 staff in the UK, cleared out its offices in Fitzrovia, London, because an employee had fallen ill after flying back from Australia via Singapore.
Irish rugby bosses agreed to a request for the Six Nations clash against Italy in Dublin next month to be postponed over a risk that travelling fans would bring Covid-19 with them.
And in Tenerife, about 160 British holidaymakers were told they would be quarantined for at least 14 days as the number of virus cases linked to their hotel increased to four.
In addition to an Italian doctor and his wife who were diagnosed after a stay at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace, two other guests are now infected and have been taken to hospital.
Mandy Smith, one of the guests stuck behind a police cordon, uploaded an emotional video appeal to PM Boris Johnson from her room yesterday.
She said: ‘Nobody knows what the right thing to do is, because nobody’s had this virus before.
‘So please, let’s sort something out, come and rescue us please, Boris. And let’s just get the hell out of here.’
People are free to move around the hotel as long as they don’t feel unwell — and Harley Mitford told The Guardian he had seen fellow guests swimming in the pool while wearing face masks.
Fellow holidaymaker Nigel Scotland told BBC Radio 4: ‘Our great hope would be to be flown home quickly, because we probably have to do another 14 days of self-isolation when we get back. The rooms are quite small and you begin to feel a bit trapped.’ More than 80,000 people worldwide have caught the virus and more than 2,700 have died. There were 411 new cases reported yesterday in China and 427 in 37 other countries.
It was the first time cases in the rest of the world have outstripped China, where the outbreak began, the World Health Organization said.
Greece, Pakistan, Finland, Georgia, North Macedonia, Algeria, Romania and Norway were among nations reporting their first patients yesterday.
And the first case in South America was confirmed, as a 61-year-old man in Brazil tested positive.
He had returned from a visit to Italy, where the number of people infected has reached nearly 400.
A 60-year-old man who had not recently travelled to any of the badly affected countries became the second person to die of Covid-19 in France.
In Iran, the death toll climbed to 19, with 139 infected.
More than 7,000 people have now been tested for the virus in the UK. No one has died here and the number of infections remains at 13.
But health secretary Matt Hancock said he is braced for a major outbreak.
He said home-testing kits could be introduced to stop potential spreaders turning up at hospitals and surgeries.
Schools should not close unless it is ‘absolutely necessary’, he added.
Chevron said staff based at Canary Wharf were working from home as it ‘monitors the situation closely’.