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Daily COVID-19 Updates: April 14

April 14, 2020
Empirical Bioscience Announces New Test; IMF Predicts Economic Depression; 3M, Cummins Collaborate on PAPR Filters

Outlook on the coronavirus, having seemingly passed through the worst phases of the disease’s direct toll, has now pivoted almost entirely to the question of how, and when, the world economy will return to normal. State governors on the west and east coast have banded together in two groups to coordinate their states’ collective return to normalcy, and the President insisted April 13 that he had the absolute power to re-open state economies.

Regardless of how the reopening of the country happens, it’s clear that all eyes are now looking past the immediate impact of the virus on health systems and people. Fueling the tension behind how cautious to be when reopening the economy is the recognition that, whatever comes next, the COVID-19 crisis will deeply harm the world economy.

The International Monetary Fund today predicted that the overall impact of the virus would lead to world economic growth of -3%, the worst rate of growth since the Great Depression. Meanwhile, manufacturers in the United States maintained their promises to deliver still-necessary supplies to medical professionals fighting to keep transmission rates low.

Manufacturers Doing Their Part

Empirical Bioscience says that they are addressing COVID-19 test shortages using its kits that can be used with qPCR detection kits following CDC protocols. The kit operates on most existing lab testing equipment in the United States. In order to help address the shortage of tests, Biogen President Des O’Farrell says they’re doubling production to 100,000 kits per week. Read the full story here.

IMF Predicts COVID-19 Outbreak Will Cause Worst Economy Since Great Depression

The International Monetary fund predicted that the coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to control it would lead to the worst economic year since the Great Depression. Downgrading their January prediction that the economy would grow sluggishly in 2020, the IMF now predicts that the world economy will shrink by 3%. The IMF also predicted that, if baseline conditions anticipating that the virus would slowly become less of a problem by the second half of the year, 2021’s economic outlook could be as dramatic as a 5.8%. Read the full story here.

3M, Cummins Collaborate on PAPR Filters

Cummins and 3M Announced today they were partnering up to increase the production of high efficiency particulate filters for use in 3M’s powered air purifying respirators, also known as PAPRs. According to a joint statement from both companies, the partnership could double the rate at which 3M produces the filters. A PAPR works by using a powered motor to send filtered air into a hood or face covering. They are an alternative to non-powered N95 respirators which are currently in short supply. 

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