SoftBank says it has tested 44,000 people in Japan in search of antibodies to Covid-19

SoftBank says it has tested 44,000 people in Japan in search of antibodies to Covid-19

To fight another Maybe Masyoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank, said during a live broadcast on Tuesday, that in light of a wave of cases, “various tests are needed to ensure the safety of our employees and our community, so that we can find an exit strategy as quickly as possible.” He warned that the virus vaccine might not be able to be mass-produced until “the middle of next year.”

SoftBank (SFTBY) On Tuesday he said that among the 44,066 people they tested for Covid-19 antibodies, 191 were positive tests. Among SoftBank employees, only 0.04% of employees working in SoftBank’s retail stores were positive, Sun said it was surprising. The rate of positive tests among Japanese company office workers and call centers was slightly higher, though not much: About 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively.
Sun said he decided to use antibody tests because it can be done safely, widely and quickly. But some experts He warns that there are still many unknowns About the accuracy of available antibody tests, and about the nature of the virus itself.

There are dozens of these tests that are being used or developed in the United States now, For example, But a few are very accurate. This means that they may fail to detect an active virus, thereby providing a false sense of security.

In China, One study Diagnostic tests found that the number of false negatives delivered was approximately 40%.
Other experts have warned that relying on antibody tests can create new problems, including discrimination in the workplace, or people who intentionally try to become infected so they can return to their jobs sooner. A doctor told CNN that the last concern was equivalent to “Play Russian roulette“.
However, other Japanese companies said they would provide antibody testing while they were reopened. Rizap, the gym operator, said it would offer 6,500 free tests to employees, coaches, and gym members. And Suntory (STBFY) CNN Chief Executive Takeshi Ninami told CNN that more antibody tests were needed to reassure people that it was safe to resume work.
Meanwhile, Sun has been concerned about the coronavirus pandemic for months. Japanese billionaire ended years of silence on Twitter in early March Share with “It has been a while since I tweeted. I am concerned about the status of the new coronavirus,” he said.
SoftBank doubled the wages of the head of the Vision Fund as the company posted a record loss

By this time, the epidemic was already ruining Sun’s actions. The collapse of travel and closures around the world has been disastrous for many startups that have supported them through the $ 100 billion vision fund. The fund suffered about $ 18 billion in operating losses for the fiscal year ending in March, which pushed SoftBank to its worst annual loss ever.

The epidemic also hit the Japanese economy hard, as it closed the country to prevent the spread of the disease. The Japanese government Introduce a stimulus package It is valued at approximately 234 trillion yen ($ 2.2 trillion) – a staggering amount equivalent to nearly 40% of the annual output of the world’s third largest economy.

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