Automakers may reconsider the value of big, expensive car shows after the Geneva Motor Show was cancelled due to coronavirus fears, says Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer at CNN Business.
COVID-19 and the danger of complacency
Mattia De Angelis, 29, urges people not to underestimate the ruthlessness of coronavirus. “They need to take all of this very seriously,” he said via Skype from Cavalese Hospital in northern Italy, where he has been battling COVID-19-induced pneumonia for almost 10 days.
Sensirion working flat out as demand soars for ventilator sensors
Demand for sensors in ventilators has grown three to six times during the coronavirus crisis, says Sensirion CEO Marc von Waldkirch. The Swiss sensor manufacturer is drawing on volunteers in the company and operating night and weekend shifts to meet production needs. According to von Waldkirch, the biggest bottleneck is now sourcing enough raw materials from suppliers.
Roche calls on governments to help ensure supply of medicine during pandemic
Swiss drugmaker Roche today called on governments around the world to work closely with the pharmaceutical industry to meet demand for medicine and tests during the COVID-19 pandemic. Roche also said it is working “around the clock” to increase availability of its COVID-19 tests and is speeding up production of Actemra, a drug that could be used to treat patients with coronavirus. Actemra is currently in a Phase 3 study to test its safety and efficacy in hospitalized adult patients with pneumonia caused by the virus. Roche said its COVID-19 tests, which received emergency authorization in the U.S. earlier this month, will be shipped from Roche’s production sites to locations where “appropriate infrastructure is in place and testing can begin without delay.” The tests are also now available in countries accepting the European Union’s CE mark. While the company said it can supply millions of COVID-19 tests per month at its current maximum production rate, it strongly advises limiting their use to patients with symptoms of the disease to safeguard supply. “Roche is committed to doing all we can to ensure adequate supply of our medicines and tests during this pandemic, but we cannot do it alone,” the company said. Governments need to work with the pharmaceutical industry to keep manufacturing and supply running, Roche said. They should consider adjusting regulations on packages, reviews, and customs to expedite delivery of urgently needed medical supplies. Governments should also work together to balance global needs, the company said. For now, Roche is experiencing limited disruption to its ability to deliver medicines amid the pandemic, it said.
Swiss workforce ill-equipped to work from home
The coronavirus pandemic has transformed millions of people across the world into remote workers in record time. But not every company has this option. According to a recent survey by management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, only 40 percent of the Swiss workforce can successfully work from home, with infrastructure and access to data being among the biggest challenges.
Geneva airport braces for turbulent times
EasyJet will join other airlines in grounding most of its fleet this week, impacting airports including Geneva’s, where the UK budget airline is the biggest operator. André Schneider, CEO of Geneva Airport, is reducing the workforce to cut costs but doesn’t expect the federal government to close the hub.
Deciding who may live and who may die
In a country with just 1,000 beds equipped with ventilators, Swiss doctors may soon be confronted with the kind of decisions that their colleagues in Italy have been facing: how to prioritize patient care if there’s a shortage of resources. The Society of Intensive Care Medicine recently issued new guidelines, says its president, Dr. Thierry Fumeaux. Quarantined with COVID-19, he spoke to CNNMoney Switzerland’s Tanya Koenig remotely from his home.
Wanted: blood from coronavirus survivors
The world is awaiting a vaccine against coronavirus but even when it arrives, not everyone will benefit. Some people with weak immune systems, such as the elderly and those with HIV, may not be eligible. Memo Therapeutics, a Swiss biotech firm, is soliciting blood samples from recovered COVID-19 patients in an effort to develop a treatment for these people. It has about 100 volunteers to date but says it needs about 500 for its research, which seeks to identify which antibodies are most effective against the virus.
Switzerland closed more businesses on Monday to slow the spread of the coronavirus but stopped short of ordering the country’s 8.6 million citizens to stay home. Under the new rules, restaurants, museums, cinemas, hair salons, and all nonessential commerce must shut down at midnight until at least April 19.