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Corporate America Joins Hand With Government For Coronavirus Testing

Corporate America Joins Hand With Government For Coronavirus Testing
A number of large companies of the United States have joined the government in efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Google has offered a website to help people determine whether suspected American needed tests while drive-through testing in their parking lots would be set up by retailers, US President Donald Trump and executives announced.
There has been increasing pressure on the Trump administration and other authorities in the country to increase the scope of testing of suspected infections for the fast-spreading virus that has already infected more than 1,600 Americans all across the country. 
“I want to thank Google. Google is helping to develop a website, it’s gonna be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past, to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location,” Trump said.
“Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now, made tremendous progress,” he added.,
According to a presentation by the Trump administration, the website would ask several questions to a potential user and then present a set of recommendations to the user about whether he or she should be going in for a coronavirus test. For those who are prescribed a coronavirus test, the website will provide reference of a store where he or she can get assistance for the test which can include a drive-through test, the presentation said. Users undergoing tests will get the test results within 24 top 36 hours online.
The launch date of the website would be known by Sunday night, said US Vice President Mike Pence said.
Efforts to develop the website was being led by Verily, a healthcare tech company also owned by Alphabet, the company said and added that an undisclosed number of Google employees was also helping in the process.
“We are in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the (San Francisco) Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time,” Verily spokeswoman Kathleen Parkes said.
According to reports quoting sources, almost 1,700 employees of Google have offered to volunteer to offer their expertise in the efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. However there was no clarity about whether all of them or how many of them were actually associated with the development of the new website.
The initial aim of Verily’s efforts was to make an assessment of the testing needs for those people who are more at risk of developing the viral infection such as workers in the healthcare industry, said Carolyn Wang, another Verily spokeswoman. However now the company has plans to conduct trials of the website on a more expanded basis at several sites around the San Francisco region, she said.
Verily was “collaborating closely with organizations like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp who are also working on additional approaches to making testing more accessible and expedient in other areas,” Wang added.
On the other hand the Retail Industry Leaders Association said that some of the leading retailers in the US will join hand with the government to help in setting up of drive-through tests for the coronavirus infection. Some of the retailers participating in this effort include Walmart, Target, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and CVS.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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