New Delhi: Microsoft on Wednesday asked its employees to work from home in order to limit exposure to the spreading coronavirus outbreak, thus joining a number of US companies, including Twitter, in doing so. The development came as the technology giant responded to a number of cases near Seattle, where it is headquartered, as well as in California. Also Read - Twitter Advices Its 5000 Global Employees to Work from Home Amid Coronavirus Fears

As such, Microsoft has asked its employees working in the Seattle region near its headquarters, and in San Francisco Bay area to work from home till March 25, if possible.

In a blog post, Microsoft Vice President Kurt DelBene wrote, “Following these measures will ensure your safety and also make the workplace safer for those that need to be in office.” The blog post added that the employees, who had to be in office or other work environments-like data centres and retail-should continue going to their work locations.

“We would follow government guidelines for disinfecting our sites for essential personnel,” DelBene added.

Further, the company also directed its employees to postpone any business travel to any area, from where confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported, ‘unless such travel is absolutely essential for Microsoft.’ The employees, it said, were not required to travel if they had ‘concerns’ about doing so.

On Wednesday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths due to the virus in the greater Seattle area reached 39 and 10 respectively, up from 27 cases and nine deaths from Tuesday.

California, meanwhile, announced its first death from coronavirus on Monday.