The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will sponsor a project to allow home testing for the Covid-19 virus using a nasal swab. People who take the test can also provide information about their movements and contacts through an online form, according to the Seattle Times.
The launch date of the project has not yet been disclosed, but the plan is to increase testing from an initial 400 per day to thousands, according to Scott Dowell, leader of the coronavirus response at the foundation.
Last week the organization announced a $5 million fund to help public health agencies in the greater Seattle region detect the virus. Mark Suzman, CEO of the Gates Foundation, said in a statement, “Early detection plays an essential role in helping public health authorities identify and treat people with COVID-19, take steps to safely isolate them and reduce transmission within the community.”
Separately, the Gates Foundation will give $100 million to improve “detection, isolation, and treatment” in Africa and South Asia.
Why It Matters
Seattle & King County confirmed 71 cases of the coronavirus and 15 deaths as of Saturday. Computer modeling conducted by an expert on Wednesday projects the existing number of cases to be nearly 600. If unchecked, the number is expected to reach 3000 by the end of the month, reported the Seattle Times.
Technology companies operating in Seattle like Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG), Microsoft, Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) have asked their employees to work from home if possible.
Microsoft shares traded 0.85% lower at $160.20 in the after-hours session on Friday. The shares had closed the regular session 2.83% lower at $161.57.
Photo Credit: Kjetil Ree via Wikimedia.