A majority of the 8,000 staff and contractors working for Google in Ireland have been asked by the company to continue working from home tomorrow.

It is understood the decision has been taken because there has been no updated information about whether an employee who has been showing flu-like symptoms has Covid-19 or not.

Today staff and contractors working in the company's offices in the city centre worked from home.

Employees working in the firm's offices in East Point and Sandyford in Dublin, as well as at its data centre in west Dublin, attended for work as normal.

It is not yet clear how long the 'working from home' policy will remain in place at the company.

The company said yesterday that it would use today as an opportunity to test its capacity to have all its staff work remotely, in case the coronavirus situation escalates.

Meanwhile, Twitter staff across the world were asked to work from home in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

The outbreak has spread across the world since emerging in central China late last year, killing more than 3,100 people, infecting more than 90,000, and prompting a wave of travel restrictions.  

The social media platform's decision to ask its staff to avoid the office follows similar requests by governments in virus hotspots. 

"We are strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they're able," Twitter human resources chief Jennifer Christie said in a blog post. 

"Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus for us - and the world around us." 

Twitter said that working from home will be mandatory for employees at the company's South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan offices. 

South Korea has recorded nearly 5,000 confirmed Covid-19 infections - the largest number outside mainland China - along with 28 deaths. 

More than half of the cases have been linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a secretive religious group often described as a cult.

Japan's government has urged the closure of schools nationwide and employers to give their staff permission to work remotely.  

Most civil servants in Hong Kong returned to work yesterday after they were asked to work from home for a month. 

The financial hub has recorded 100 cases of the infection. 

Twitter had already announced the suspension of "non-critical" business travel and events last week.