Business / Corporate

SoftBank Group launches PCR testing firm to boost test availability


SoftBank Group Corp. announced Wednesday that it has launched a subsidiary that will conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coronavirus tests using saliva, with the aim of providing more tests at a lower cost.

To start, SoftBank said it will conduct the tests on its employees and members of the SoftBank Hawks, the professional baseball team that is part of the SoftBank group, by working with the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, the telecom and investment giant said in a statement.

SoftBank said it is talking with the National Center for Global Health and Medicine to conduct joint research on how more tests and early detection can help prevent the spread of the disease.

The new firm will also help provide PCR tests for those companies or municipalities that wish to do so, saying if it makes a profit, it will donate funds to medical institutions.

SoftBank recently conducted coronavirus antibody tests on its more than 40,000 employees, medical workers and others, 0.43 percent of which tested positive

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