Businesses are making donations, reducing speeds of video streaming, and, in some case, hiring more workers amid the coronavirus. Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus around the world.
Apple is providing Italy’s Protezione Civile with a contribution of medical supplies, among other items, 9to5Mac reported. “It’s never been more important to support each other,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a tweet. “We’re making a substantial donation including medical supplies to Protezione Civile in Italy, to help the heroic first responders, medical personnel & volunteers working tirelessly to protect & save lives." The tech company has already contributed over $15 million to coronavirus relief efforts globally.
Meanwhile, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub) and UC San Francisco (UCSF) are tapping into their abilities to grow the capacity of local testing to better combat the coronavirus, according to an announcement. Dr. Priscilla Chan, CZI co-founder and co-CEO said, “Dramatically expanded testing capacity — as well as rapid deployment of testing to all those who need it — is essential to stemming the spread of COVID-19 [the disease caused by the coronavirus].” The higher testing capacity will be first focused on the most ill patients of UCSF and then "symptomatic out-patients," per the announcement.
In other news, Britain is reportedly in discussion with lodging facilities and vacation parks throughout the nation to provide a home for medical facility staff over the COVID-19 outbreak, Bloomberg reported. Bourne Leisure is talking with the government to figure out how to shield those most vulnerable to the virus. Champneys Health Resorts, for its part, noted the government has reached out to it in regard to use of its facilities. Champney’s CEO Alan Whiteley said, per the report, “If we go into lockdown, they’re more than welcome to have the resorts." The talks have occurred as the government mulls stricter measures to combat the coronavirus’ proliferation in London.
Meanwhile, with the COVID-19 outbreak, Netflix has said it would cut streaming quality in Europe, according to reports. Netflix’s standard definition video uses 1 GB hourly compared to 3 GB hourly for high definition videos. A spokesperson for the outlet said in a statement, per reports, “Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings — and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus — Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days.”
On another note, H&M has given 2,000 workers in Norway notices of lay-offs that are not reportedly permanent because of COVID-19, Reuters reported, citing the Dagens Naeringsliv business news outlet. H&M, according to Reuters, was not immediately available for reply.
In other news, Domino’s Pizza plans to bring on board approximately 10,000 staffers across the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak, CNBC reported. CEO Ritch Allison noted in a statement, per the report, “Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they’re not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily-impacted restaurant industry.” The company is seeking pizza makers, delivery drivers, managers, licensed truck drivers and customer service reps.
And, in a letter to President Donald Trump, the National Retail Federation requested that the administration clarify coronavirus-related guidance. The organization wrote, “There remains a need for clear national guidance to resolve questions caused by a number of conflicting state and local orders that are triggering consumer, worker and business confusion, leading to cascading negative impacts on communities across the country.” The group reported that retail is the biggest private-sector employer, supporting one in four positions in the U.S.