By Chibuike Oguh

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Carlyle Group Inc has restricted travel for its employees, as the threat from the global coronavirus outbreak continues to rise, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Traveling is a way of life for many private equity executives, who spend several hours on flights every week sourcing and negotiating deals, meeting fund investors, and overseeing the portfolio companies their funds own.

The Washington, D.C.-based firm restricted all nonessential business travel this week, the sources said. The new policy is subject to review on a case-by-cases basis, added the people, who asked not to be identified because no public announcement has been made.

Carlyle declined to comment.

Since its outbreak in China in December, the coronavirus has spread to nearly 80 countries and territories, resulting in more than 3,200 deaths.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)