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Amazon Ahead of COVID-19: Join Hands with Bill Gates

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 15:35

History has taught us that rivals do not fight but stick together in the face of adversity. Amazon is now teaming up with a research program funded by Bill Gates to pick up and deliver COVID-19 test kits in Seattle, the company reported on Monday.

The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network, a group of medical, public health and research organizations, is collecting nasal swabs from a sample of people across King County and Seattle to learn how the infection is spreading in the areas. King County, part of Washington state, is one of the most affected regions in the US by the COVID-19 outbreak. Amazon Care, the e-commerce giant’s arm that provides medical care to employees, along with other delivery partners, will provide infrastructure and logistics services to combat the virus, according to SCAN’s website.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday reported 33,453 cases of COVID-19 in the country, an increase of 18,185 cases from its previous count, and said the death toll had risen by 199 to 400. Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Mexico entered Phase 2 of the coronavirus pandemic. The Ministry of Health reported that the number of infected in the country rose to 367 and there are already 4 deaths.

Spielberg Mini-series on Hold

The filming in Mexico of a big-budget Steven Spielberg-produced Amazon mini-series, starring Spanish actor Javier Bardem, has been suspended due to concerns about COVID-19, according to a letter sent to cast and crew on Friday.

The production entitled Mexica, which centers around the Spanish conquest of the Aztecas, began filming two weeks ago on location in Mexico City. Only a few members of the crew will continue working through next week, while cast and crew were informed that production might resume in December depending on how the public health crisis develops.

The project’s budget is believed to be tens of millions of dollars and dozens of local contractors will be affected by the suspension. The move came after the cancellation of the Guadalajara International Film Festival, set to kick off in Mexico’s second-biggest city late next week, and as US studios delayed filming.

In the meantime, Jeff Bezos’ company announced on its social networks that Prime Video will be offering free content to all users who have an Amazon account. The company mentions that nothing special will need to be done, just logging in with an Amazon account and enjoy the selected content.