Coronavirus lunchtime company news summary

3 April 2020 (Last Updated April 3rd, 2020 12:15)

3 April

Boeing has temporarily suspended operations at its military rotorcraft facilities in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, for two weeks, starting today to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the region. Boeing expects to restart production on 20 April and says it will continue to support the national effort to combat the spread of the virus. The company’s Philadelphia Area Operations produces aircraft such as H-47 Chinook, V-22 Osprey and MH-139A Grey Wolf for defence customers.

US Army 627th Hospital Center commander Col. Hope Williamson-Younce has announced a new field hospital in Seattle. It is currently being set up and is expected to open next week. This 250-bed unit is for non-Covid-19 patients and will free up beds in local hospitals to allow treatment for those who have contracted coronavirus. Some 500 military medical personnel from different army units will support the field hospital.

NATO Foreign Ministers have agreed to open up fast-track paths for military aircraft carrying medical supplies to support the fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic to fly via European airspace. The alliance’s top commander General Wolters has also been directed to manage the military support required to respond to the pandemic situation. NATO is already supporting national efforts with logistical, transport and medical help.

Israeli cybersecurity company NSO Group has claimed its software could monitor and track the spread of coronavirus using mobile phone data, according to a BBC report. However, the controversial surveillance company is under investigation for disseminating malware via WhatsApp and supplying spy software to the Saudi government. The company claims to be in discussions with multiple governments worldwide some of whom are trialling it.

A Russian Antonov-124 military aircraft carrying medical supplies landed at JFK Airport in New York, US, on Wednesday. The plane was carrying medical masks and medical equipment including ventilators on board. The supplies were given to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in New York.

India has readied around 25,000 National Cadet Corps cadets and retired military health professionals to handle the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. This move comes as the Chief of Defence Staff and Army chief said that more than 9,000 service hospital beds are available and 8,500 doctors and support staff are kept in reserve.