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SoftBank’s CEO Reconsiders Plans for Free Virus Tests Amid Negative Feedback

imageStock Markets39 minutes ago (Mar 12, 2020 01:07AM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Alex Ho – Softbank Group Corp. (T:9984)’s CEO Masayoshi Son said he is reconsidering his earlier proposal of free virus testing as his offer drew criticism.

Son proposed earlier this week to provide 1 million free home tests for COVID-19 as he was “worried about the situation” and that many people were not able to test if they were infected.

However, he withdrew the plan merely hours later amid concerns that the Japanese health care system could be overwhelmed by such a huge influx of people with light symptoms.

One comment on Son’s Twitter feed pointed out that the tests involved are way too complicated, as they require the users to take a swab from deep in the nasal cavity and that a deluge of useless samples would actually impede detection.

“I started the plan because I heard that many people couldn’t take the tests even if they want to,” he said.

SoftBank’s shares dropped 4.7% to 4,040 yen by 12:05 AM ET (04:05 GMT).

SoftBank’s CEO Reconsiders Plans for Free Virus Tests Amid Negative Feedback

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