To fight anotherpossiblea wave of cases, “various tests are needed to ensure the safety of our employees and society, in order to find an exit strategy as quickly as possible,” SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son said during a live event on Tuesday. He warned that the vaccine against the virus may not be able to be mass-produced until “the middle of next year”.
Softbank(SFTBY) on Tuesday he said of the 44,066 people tested for Covid-19 antibodies 191 were positive. Among SoftBank staff, only 0.04% of employees working in SoftBank mobile operators ’retail stores were positively tested, one Son said surprisingly. The rate of positive tests among workers in the office and telephone centers of the Japanese company was slightly higher, although not much:about 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively.
The son said he decided to use antibody tests because they can be done safely, widely and quickly. But some experts caution that there are still too many unknowns about the accuracy of the available antibody tests and about the nature of the virus itself.
A dozen such tests are currently being used or developed in the United States,for example,but few are very accurate. This means that they cannot detect the active virus, thus providing a false sense of security.
In China, one study In the diagnostic tests, it was determined that the number of submitted false negatives is almost 40%.
Other experts have warned that relying on antibody tests could create new problems, including discrimination in the workplace, or people deliberately trying to infect themselves so they can return to their jobs as soon as possible. One doctor told CNN that the last concern was the same. “playing Russian roulette“.
Still, other Japanese companies have said they will offer antibody testing as they reopen. Rizap, a gym driver, said he would offer 6,500 free tests to employees, coaches and gym members. ANDSuntory(STBFY) CEO Takeshi Niinami told CNN that more antibody testing is needed to convince people that it is safe to continue working.
The son, meanwhile, has been worried about the coronavirus pandemic for months. The Japanese billionaire ended a long silence on Twitter in early March with post saying, “It’s been a while since the tweet. I’m worried about the situation of the new coronavirus.”
By then, the pandemic was already a devastation at Sona’s business. The collapse of travel and closure restrictions around the world has been catastrophic for many startups it has supported through its $ 100 billion Vision Fund. The fund suffered operating losses of nearly $ 18 billion for the fiscal year that ended in March, dragging SoftBank to its worst annual loss ever.
The pandemic also hit the Japanese economy hard as the country went on a blockade to prevent the spread of the disease. Japanese government developed a stimulus package worth about 234 trillion yen ($ 2.2 trillion) – an incredible amount that accounts for nearly 40% of the annual production of the world’s third largest economy.