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Business Update: A wrap-up of the week’s top financial stories Business Update: A wrap-up of the week’s top financial stories Business Update: A wrap-up of the week’s top financial stories
This week: The political and economic impact of the U.S. midterm elections, a fall from grace for Swiss asset manager GAM, and how Swiss businesses are cashing in on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
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Cindy Roberts
Switzerland joins Europe’s massive public health experiment
Switzerland is getting ready to reopen, part of an advance guard of countries embarking on Europe’s biggest experiment in public health. After almost a month in confinement, the Swiss public learned Wednesday that the government will start relaxing its coronavirus restrictions at the end of April. Austria, Norway, and Denmark are also planning to ease their antivirus measures this month. Having succeeded in suppressing the epidemic, the Federal Council is now trying to figure out how to reboot the economy while keeping the virus under control. Switzerland’s reliance on exports will be a major challenge, making a recovery dependent on how quickly major trade partners like Germany, the U.S., and China get back to work. “We can do a lot on our own and the government is doing a superb job, but this is not only us, it’s the entire world,” said Markus Will, a senior economist at the University of St. Gallen. Europe needs a region-wide approach to the recovery, and Switzerland needs to be part of it, he said in an interview with CNNMoney’s Olivia Chang. Switzerland’s post-lockdown plan, still a work in progress, remains under wraps until April 16. But the council has said the unwinding of restrictions will be gradual, with public health remaining the priority. Countries emerging from confinement in Europe are taking different approaches. Norway is starting with schools and limited travel, while Austria is opening small shops, hardware stores, and nurseries. Germany is sticking to its lockdown for now, while Italy is mulling a move toward more personal freedom as early as this month. “I would start with the production lines,” Will said. “We need to get the industry back running.” Shops should be next to open, followed much later by restaurants and tourist activities, he said. Social distancing rules will mostly likely remain in place for the foreseeable future, slowing the economic recovery. Pressure is building on governments to explain their plans because of the mounting economic costs of closing businesses and borders and curtailing public life. Economics Minister Guy Parmelin says the Swiss economy has taken an enormous hit with production collapsing about 25 percent. The government is forecasting a recession this year. In the worst case, Swiss output could shrink by as much as 10.4 percent, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. If much of the economy remains on hold through June or July, the damage could easily add up to more than 10 percent, Will said. Switzerland’s low ratio of debt to gross domestic product puts it in a better position to weather the crisis than many countries, because the government can afford to boost spending to stimulate the economy. The council has already launched a CHF 62 billion aid package, consisting mostly of guarantees on bank loans for small businesses and support for companies that keep workers on the payroll. It may not be enough. Switzerland will need months if not years to return to the economic level before the pandemic began, Will said. Much depends on how quickly the rest of the world rebounds.
Olivia Chang
Swiss recovery from coronavirus pandemic may take years, economist warns
A return to the economic level that existed before the coronavirus crisis will take months if not years, says Markus Will, senior economist at St. Gallen University. His comments come after the Swiss government warned that the economy could shrink 10 percent this year in a worst-case scenario.
Greta Ruffino
Doctor cautions on loosening Italy’s lockdown
Italy may look to ease some of its lockdown restrictions this month as evidence grows that the country has overcome the worst of the coronavirus epidemic. That’s an unsettling prospect for Filippo Testa, an anesthesiologist at a northern Italian hospital who has experienced the virus firsthand. He says countries must coordinate any relaxation of measures imposed to contain the virus.
Olivia Chang
WEF: An arsenal of coronavirus vaccines awaits the world
With scientists working frantically to defeat the coronavirus, the world is likely to have as many as three vaccines ready to be deployed in 12 to 18 months, says Arnaud Bernaert, head of global health at the World Economic Forum. “We are in early stages but I’m optimistic,” he says.
Cindy Roberts
Switzerland to relax coronavirus restrictions this month
Switzerland’s government said it would begin easing its coronavirus containment measures at the end of the month and is working on a plan for a stepwise return to normal. Interior Minister Alain Berset said the aim is to map out the timing and order of events for a transition that would likely take weeks. The plan will be carried out in coordination with other countries and will take account of economic needs as well as the importance of keeping the virus in check. Switzerland declared a state of emergency on March 16, closing shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment and leisure facilities until April 19. The lockdown will be extended a week until April 26, the government said. “We are on the right path, but we haven’t reached the goal yet,” said President Simonetta Sommaruga. Other European governments also are starting to think about how to reopen factories, offices, and schools while minimizing the chance of further outbreaks. Austria on Monday said it would gradually begin to reopen shops after Easter, becoming the first country in Europe to do so. Pressure is building on governments to explain their plans because of the mounting economic costs of measures designed to contain the coronavirus. Economics Minister Guy Parmelin said the Swiss economy has taken an enormous hit with production collapsing about 25 percent. “We must seriously envision a profound crisis that lasts a long time,” he said. “The state can’t be engaged everywhere.” The government said it is working on an aid package for the devastated airline industry, which employs more than 200,000 in Switzerland. It also expanded some unemployment benefits for workers. About 30 percent of the labor force, or about 1.5 million people, are already receiving wage subsidies known as short-time work. Switzerland’s jobless rate rose to 3 percent in March and an increase of 7 percent in the coming months was not impossible, Parmelin said.
Ana Maria Montero
Swiss company races to bring COVID-19 antibody tests to market
Experts say antibody testing will play a crucial role in easing coronavirus lockdowns around the world and reviving economies. “If you have antibody tests you can identify those who are already immune and can go back safely to work and who might need a vaccine once a vaccine becomes available,” said Franz Walt, CEO of Swiss medical diagnostics company Quotient. While there are few reliable tests on the market at present, Quotient says it has developed a highly accurate one that can be carried out quickly on its blood screening machines. The company is scaling up production of the machines, called MosaiQ, at its plant in Eysins, Switzerland, as it seeks approval to commercialize the test in Europe and the U.S. Quotient plans to sell the tests for between USD 15 and 25 and to lease or sell the machines at cost. Just one machine can perform 3,000 tests a day, Walt says.
Greta Ruffino
Yoga, live on Instagram
People in coronavirus confinement have turned to online yoga classes as a way to cope with self-isolation. Swiss-based yoga teacher, Federica Sella, is giving free Instagram classes to Italians who have been in lockdown for weeks.
Olivia Chang
Hotelleriesuisse: 5 percent of Swiss hotels won’t survive coronavirus
Andreas Züllig, owner of the four-star Hotel Schweizerhof in the Alpine resort of Lenzerheide, was having one of his best winters in 20 years before the coronavirus stole into Switzerland. As many as 200 guests were arriving daily to enjoy the abundant snow, driving revenues to record highs in January and February. But the season came to a premature end in mid-March when the government mandated a nationwide lockdown to help contain the virus. He closed the hotel temporarily, along with many of Switzerland’s 4,500 hotels. At the time, he only had six guests. “The whole industry has never seen anything like what we have now,” said Züllig, who is also the president of the Swiss Hotel Association. He predicts that 5 percent of Swiss hotels—from 200 to 250—won’t survive the pandemic. Those located in the country with no more than a dozen or so rooms are the ones most threatened, he said. On average, about 1 to 2 percent of Switzerland’s 4,500 hotels close down or go out of business every year. “It’s going to be a tough ride,” said Louis Papadopoulos, owner of Maya Boutique Hotel in Valais. The eight-room wellness hotel, which normally has an occupancy rate of 60 percent throughout the year, hasn’t received a booking request since the end of February. “I think many hotels will be faced with the choice: die now or in a few years’ time.” Papadopoulos remains hopeful that business will pick up over the summer from Swiss tourists who choose to travel locally. Sebastian Schmid, who runs Hotel Glocke in Valais, was also forced to close earlier than planned for the season. The 18-room hotel had received 20 booking cancellations in the last two weeks alone. The Second Hit It’s not the first time the Swiss hotel industry has faced a crisis. In 2015, the decoupling of the Swiss franc and the euro left many establishments struggling for international visitors as the currency surged. When Züllig took on the role as president as the Swiss Hotel Association that year, he thought things couldn’t get any worse. Now he believes the franc shock is nothing compared with the coronavirus. A survey carried out by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts for Western Switzerland expects losses for Swiss hotels to reach CHF 2 billion from March to May. April will be one of the hardest-hit months with revenues down roughly 90 percent, according to projections. “I think the international market is dead for the whole year,” said Züllig, who estimates it will take at least a year before the industry can return to normal. Others see a brighter future. “The Swiss hotel industry is facing a dark time indeed, but it has already proven that it is able to innovate and react quite quickly,” said Giuliano Bianchi, professor at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. “Despite the huge hit, I believe that the high human capital and the flexibility of the Swiss hotel industry will overcome this dark time. There is hope.”
Ana Maria Montero
An app to detect COVID-19's telltale cough
Mobile phones have emerged as a key tool to track the spread of the coronavirus. But can they tell you whether you have the disease? Swiss-based Detect-Now has created an application that uses your smartphone to test for COVID-19 by recording the sound of your cough. Co-founder Simon Hofer explains how it works.
Cindy Roberts
Coronavirus “stabilizing” in Switzerland, top health official says
Switzerland’s coronavirus epidemic appears to be stabilizing, a top health official said on Tuesday, crediting the country’s containment measures with slowing the spread. Asked when the restrictions could be relaxed, Daniel Koch, head of infectious diseases at the federal health agency, said there was no single numerical target. Authorities are using several measures to track the virus, ranging from new infections and hospitalizations to the number of patients in intensive care units, he said. A qualitative analysis is also part of the picture. “We take the different numbers and try to make an assessment out of them—together with the specialists and the cantons,” he said at a news conference. European governments are seeing growing evidence that their nationwide lockdowns are paying off. But in a region that has suffered more than 60 percent of deaths worldwide, officials must balance the need to reanimate their economies against the risk of reigniting the spread. Neighboring Austria, which has far fewer coronavirus cases than Switzerland, plans to allow small shops, hardware stores, and garden centers to reopen next week. Norway and Denmark are looking to open some schools this month. The World Health Organization on Tuesday urged countries not to lift their anti-COVID-19 measures too soon. “One of the most important parts is not to let go of the measures too early in order not to have a fall back again,” said WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier in a virtual briefing. Switzerland declared a state of emergency on March 16, closing shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment and leisure facilities until April 19. The government is working on a post-lockdown plan once health officials say it’s safe to resume activities. Since Monday, the number of positive COVID-19 tests has increased by 590 to 22,242, Koch said. At least 641 people have died and more than 400 remain on respiratory support in intensive care. “It seems to be stabilizing, but it’s too early to say the problem is solved.”
Kasmira Jefford
Six European start-ups chosen for Google accelerator
Google has chosen six European companies to take part in its new accelerator for start-ups working on sustainable development goals. In all, 11 finalists were selected from 1,120 applicants with help from UN experts. The tech giant adapted the five-month program to take place solely online after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted plans for a kickoff in Germany last month.
Tanya König
Highlights from the Versus Virus hackathon
A mental health care adviser, a website for victims of domestic violence, and a streamlined application for short-time work. These were just some of the projects conjured up during the Versus Virus online hackathon for coping with COVID-19. But how feasible are they? Tanya König follows up with the winners.
CNNMoney Switzerland
CNNMoney Switzerland announces new strategy and new management team
Zurich/Geneva, April 7, 2020 – Renowned Swiss journalist Patrizia Laeri will take up her post in July. CNNMoney Switzerland is expanding its coverage in Germany, Austria, Italy and France. The digital media for innovation and business is experiencing a strong increase in audience. Two years after its launch, CNNMoney Switzerland is taking another important step and strengthening its management to cope with its rapid development. On 1 July 2020, Patrizia Laeri will take over as Editor-in-chief of the channel, succeeding Andreas Schaffner, who has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer with immediate effect. With a digital approach to content production and a proven commitment to sustainability and gender diversity in the business world, she joins a team with a strong female component. She will be key in focusing CNNMoney Switzerland in new markets and providing content in German. New Editor-in-Chief Patrizia Laeri (1977) is a well-known personality on the media scene. She began her career at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, before joining SRF, where she produced numerous feature stories for several flagship programs (10vor10, Tagesschau etc.) and hosted economic broadcasts like SRF Börse and ECO. Named Swiss Economic Journalist of the Year in 2019, she hosts debates with economic and political leaders for the World Economic Forum and the Swiss Economic Forum. Patrizia Laeri writes a regular column in Blick and has a strong presence and following on social networks. She is a member of the board of the Institute for Digital Business of the HWZ (Zurich Business Management University). She thus brings to CNN Money Switzerland a major competence in digital presence management. “I am thrilled to join CNNMoney Switzerland and to be part of the expansion of an innovative and dynamic media organization," said Patrizia Laeri. “I am convinced that the current crisis is a catalyst for an economy that takes into account environmental protection, social issues and good corporate governance. This is the only sustainable solution. This is what we will focus on at CNNMoney Switzerland. I am also looking forward to joining an equal opportunity team willing to promote the benefits of gender diversity – I'm working on a specific show on this very topical issue." Strengthening of management Andreas Schaffner (1971) takes over as Chief Operating Officer in April 2020. Andreas Schaffner is an award-winning journalist and holds a law degree from the University of Basel and an MBA from the University of Durham. He brings a wealth of media management experience for the development into new markets and digital expansion of CNNMoney Switzerland, where he was editor-in-chief up until now. Hannah Wise (1978) is appointed Deputy Editor. Hannah is an international journalist with 18 years’ experience in front of the camera. She started her career at the BBC working on local and national news stories before relocating to Paris to become the anchor of the France 24 flagship breakfast programme. In 2014 she moved to Switzerland and became launch anchor for CNNMoney Switzerland. She holds a Masters in Physical Geography from the University of Aberdeen. Fetah Maliqi (1985) joins CNNMoney Switzerland as Head of Sales, effective 1 July 2020. His extensive experience in digital media and his background in banking and finance will be decisive for the media's growth. Fetah Maliqi worked as Business Development Digital Manager at Admeira, after holding various executive positions at Goldbach Media (Switzerland). Expansion in Continental Europe CNNMoney Switzerland has signed an agreement with Turner Group/CNN that will enable it to extend its distribution to Germany, Austria, Italy and France. This expansion into the German-speaking (DACH) and Latin markets is a natural continuation of the progression of CNNMoney Switzerland, which is positioning itself as the innovation and business media, providing relevant coverage of the strong development of the start-up, tech, blockchain and venture capital scene, with sustainability and gender equality as key elements for digital savvy communities. The editorial focus will reflect these new market dynamics in a crucial area for companies based in or doing business with Switzerland. CNNMoney Switzerland is the only Swiss partner of the Turner/CNN Group brands and is part of the global network of the Turner/CNN Group. German-language contents and productions This expansion, as well as the arrival of Patrizia Laeri at the head of the editorial team, coincides with CNNMoney Switzerland's decision to produce and distribute German-language contents in order to better serve the German-speaking Swiss and European market. These contents will in particular be distributed through major partner broadcasters with strong roots in the German-speaking markets. Steady increase in viewing figures Just over two years after its launch, CNNMoney Switzerland has seen a marked increase in its audience on all its platforms - cable and satellite, website, social networking platforms. Since the beginning of 2020, the website's main markers have grown massively: +235% unique visitors, +250% length of engagement, +160% page views. Other broadcasting and social network figures follow the same upward trend. Christophe Rasch, CEO and founder of CNNMoney Switzerland, said: "We can count on a first-class team to lead the exciting developments underway. I am particularly pleased to welcome such a charismatic figure as Patrizia Laeri, who brings along a wealth of experience, a keen sense of the digital world, and welcome convictions in terms of inclusion and diversity. In addition, our agreement with the Turner/CNN Group opens up remarkable prospects for us to further adhere to the ongoing transformation of the business world, in Switzerland, Europe and the world". Further information CNNMoney Switzerland Christophe Rasch Founder and CEO Tel.: +41 79 214 33 36 christophe.rasch@cnnmoney.ch Media office CNNMoney Switzerland Delia Collardi CNNMoney Switzerland Tel.: +41 78 786 72 20 delia.collardi@cnnmoney.ch About CNNMoney Switzerland Launched in January 2018, CNNMoney Switzerland was founded and is managed by CNNMoney Switzerland SA, an independent and privately owned Swiss media company. CNNMoney Switzerland is an integral part of the CNNMoney brand's international development strategy. CNNMoney Switzerland is a multi-platform content producer for linear broadcasting and digital media, focusing on financial, business, economic, cultural and lifestyle content related to Switzerland or Swiss-based multinational companies or organizations. CNNMoney Switzerland covers Swiss topics with international impact and broadcasts its programmes free-to-air via cable and IPTV operators as well as on www.cnnmoney.ch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
CNNMoney Switzerland
CORONAVIRUS UPDATES
Here are all the latest updates and news on coronavirus from CNNMoney Switzerland. We will be updating this page with new content on a regular basis. Swiss Interior Minister Alain Berset held out little hope Monday that the government would follow Austria’s lead in relaxing some coronavirus containment measures next week.     Asked about the Austrian plan, he said the Federal Council would only consider the situation in Switzerland, noting that Austria has fewer confirmed cases of infections. Berset spoke after visiting health care officials in the southwestern canton of Valais.     The council declared a state of emergency on March 16, closing shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment and leisure facilities until April 19.    Berset has said restrictions on social contact won’t end when infections peak. “It is only when the number of infected people and hospital admissions clearly decreases that we can consider relaxing the rules,” he told SonntagsZeitung.    Stock markets in the U.S. and Europe rallied Monday on data suggesting a slowdown in coronavirus infections in multiple countries. They include Italy and Spain, which are also recording fewer daily deaths than they have in over a week.    On Monday, Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said his government could start loosening some lockdown measures next week to allow small shops, hardware stores, and garden centers to resume business.    Assuming there’s no relapse in the coronavirus count, larger shops will reopen next month, followed by hotels, restaurants, and other services from mid-May, he said at a news conference.    As of Monday, the country of 8.8 million people had reported 12,058 confirmed infections, with 204 deaths. The government says the daily rate of new infections has fallen significantly in recent days.    That compares with 21,652 positive tests and 584 deaths in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which have a combined population of about 8.6 million.    Also Monday, the Swiss Trade Association proposed eventually limiting the containment measures to groups most at risk so that the country could get back to work. It also urged the introduction of app-based monitoring to identify chains of infection.     Scientists from various European countries, including Switzerland, have been working on a smartphone app to help trace people who have come into contact with those infected with coronavirus. The PEPP-PT includes safeguards on data privacy and use would be voluntary and anonymous.  SWISS START-UPS FACE EXISTENTIAL THREAT FROM COVID-19 In any year, start-ups face an uncertain future. Now the coronavirus pandemic is adding to the strain, as venture capital funding cools.  SWISS DISTILLERIES SWAP OUT DRINKS FOR DISINFECTANT Swiss distilleries are using high-proof alcohol to make disinfectant after Swiss regulators relaxed the rules, allowing them to distribute to any retail store or individual.  HERD IMMUNITY A NO-GO, SAYS TICINO DOCTOR With the rising economic toll of containment measures, governments are asking whether the cure isn’t worse than the disease. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for example, initially wanted to allow COVID-19 to infect so many people that it would fizzle out on its own for lack of a host. TIPS FOR TACKLING CORONAVIRUS ANXIETY Feeling anxious about your health, your business or your family during the coronavirus crisis? Marta Ra, CEO of Paracelsus Recovery, offers advice on how to cope with stress and shares five tips to keep you mentally healthy. SWISS COMPANY DEVELOPS CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT—FOR MASKS Swiss specialty chemicals company HeiQ has developed a treatment to make face masks more resistant to coronavirus. The ETH spin-off plans to treat 500 million masks with the antiviral product over the next four to eight weeks, says CEO Carlo Centonze.  SNB PAYS SWISS BANKS TO LEND The SNB has set up a refinancing facility to give banks access to liquidity needed to expand lending rapidly and on a large scale, President Thomas Jordan said. He said there is no upper limit on the amounts available and drawdowns can be made at any time. The interest rate will be minus 0.75, same as the SNB policy rate.  CORONAVIRUS CRISIS COULD CHANGE GIG-WORKING FOREVER Coronavirus lockdowns have stoked demand for some gig workers like delivery drivers and supermarket assistants. For others, though, the crisis has meant the loss of employment, with few, if any, social protections.  ANTIBODY TESTING MAY BE KEY TO GETTING THE HEALTHY BACK TO WORK Governments are pumping money into their economies to limit the damage from virus shutdowns when they should be trying to get the healthy back to work safely. COUNTING THE COST OF CORONAVIRUS When it comes to putting a figure on the economic impact of the shutdown in Switzerland, Avenir Suisse says it isn’t straightforward. It says its estimates are conservative and warns of impending inflation issues post-crisis. NO, I DON’T NEED XANAX—I NEED A COVID-19 TEST Some doctors in Switzerland are not testing everyone with COVID-19 symptoms, and when they do, it can come at a high cost—both to patients' wallets and their personal safety. A personal report.  COVID-19 AND THE DANGER OF COMPLACENCY Mattia De Angelis, 29, urges people not to underestimate the ruthlessness of coronavirus. “They need to take all of this very seriously,” he said via Skype from Cavalese Hospital in northern Italy, where he has been battling COVID-19-induced pneumonia for almost 10 days. SENSIRION WORKING FLAT OUT AS DEMAND SOARS FOR VENTILATOR SENSORS Demand for sensors in ventilators has grown three to six times during the coronavirus crisis, says Sensirion CEO Marc von Waldkirch. ROCHE CALLS ON GOVERNMENTS TO HELP ENSURE SUPPLY OF MEDICINE DURING PANDEMIC Roche said it is working “around the clock” to increase availability of its COVID-19 tests and is speeding up production of Actemra, a drug that could be used to treat patients with coronavirus. Actemra is currently in a Phase 3 study to test its safety and efficacy in hospitalized adult patients with pneumonia caused by the virus.  DECIDING WHO MAY LIVE AND WHO MAY DIE In a country with just 1,000 beds equipped with ventilators, Swiss doctors may soon be confronted with the kind of decisions that their colleagues in Italy have been facing: how to prioritize patient care if there’s a shortage of resources.  GENEVA AIRPORT BRACES FOR TURBULENT TIMES EasyJet will join other airlines in grounding most of its fleet this week, impacting airports including Geneva’s, where the UK budget airline is the biggest operator.  WANTED: BLOOD FROM CORONAVIRUS SURVIVORS The world is awaiting a vaccine against coronavirus but even when it arrives, not everyone will benefit. Some people with weak immune systems, such as the elderly and those with HIV, may not be eligible.  SWISS AID DEAL “NO SUPER BAZOOKA” BUT RIGHT MOVE, SAYS ECONOMIESUISSE The Swiss government announced an additional CHF 32 billion in aid on Friday, mostly targeted at small- to medium-sized businesses hit by the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. FIVE TIPS FOR CORONAVIRUS HOMESCHOOLING With schools closed all over the globe, many parents have found themselves in the unexpected and perhaps uneasy situation of having to supervise their children’s schoolwork.  BARGAIN HUNTING IN A BEAR MARKET Looking for bargains in a bear market? Swisspartners CIO Peter Ahluwalia says some great deals await the brave of heart. SNB TO STEP UP CURRENCY INTERVENTIONS The Swiss National Bank refused to join the global rate-cutting frenzy today, signaling that it will step up currency interventions to stem the rise of the franc against the euro. TICINO HOSPITALS BRACE FOR SURGE IN PATIENTS Doctors near the Swiss border with Italy started seeing the first coronavirus patients in early March and the number has been rising ever since. SMALL BUSINESSES SWITCH TO SURVIVAL MODE AMID CORONAVIRUS Switzerland went into lockdown less than a week ago but for many small businesses that’s already way too long. Panic is setting in as they watch their revenue dry up and their cash pot dwindle.  CORONAVIRUS: CLOSED RESTAURANTS, OPEN KITCHENS Restaurants may be closed, but kitchens are still open for business. Here’s how Switzerland’s small businesses are trying to survive the coronavirus shutdown. CORONAVIRUS COULD COST THE WORLD 25 MILLION JOBS, UN SAYS The economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic could increase global unemployment by as much as 25 million people, the International Labor Organization warns.  SWISS GOVERNMENT URGED TO SET UP BAILOUT FUND The Swiss government should set up a CHF 100 billion fund—about 15 percent of GDP—to help businesses survive the coronavirus crisis, two prominent economists say. THREE ASIAN CITIES SHOW EUROPE HOW TO FIGHT CORONAVIRUS China’s draconian measures for controlling the coronavirus outbreak on the mainland cannot be easily replicated by nations in the rest of the world, which don’t have the same top-down power structure. But successful action taken in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan can serve as better examples, says Steven Jiang, a CNN senior producer based in Beijing. SWITZERLAND IN DESPERATE RACE TO STAY AHEAD OF CORONAVIRUS Switzerland is in a desperate race against time as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to rise rapidly. Officials are imploring people to observe restrictions on social contact to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Daniel Koch, head of the federal health office, says the country may have just a few more days to get the situation under control. COURIERS TO THE RESCUE A Swiss tech start-up is rejiggering its model to help communities during the coronavirus lockdown. THE CORONAVIRUS BLUES The coronavirus crisis is serving as a source of e inspiration for musicians and governments seeking to educate people about the disease and to help people cope with confinement. SWITZERLAND NEEDS MORE WIDESPREAD CORONAVIRUS TESTING, SAYS EPFL’S SALATHÉ Switzerland should have started testing more liberally a long time ago to slow the spread of the coronavirus, says Marcel Salathé, an associate professor at EPFL and an expert in digital epidemiology. WITH EURO 2020 NOW CANCELED, WILL THE SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES BE NEXT? UEFA announced today that is postponing Euro 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis. The quadrennial European football championships were originally supposed to take place from June 12 to July 12 across 12 countries to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the tournament. EUROPE RESORTS TO UNPRECEDENTED RESTRICTIONS ON PUBLIC LIFE Europe hunkered down Tuesday, with borders, schools, and businesses closed across the region and a police lockdown underway in the worst-hit countries.   NEIGHBORS MOBILIZE AGAINST CORONAVIRUS Communities are using social media to organize grocery shopping or help with other basic needs for people confined to their homes. Hilf-jetzt.ch, a platform set up on Friday, lists 300 groups that offer assistance to those coping with the coronavirus outbreak. ROCHE CEO ON THE ROLLOUT OF ITS NEW COVID-19 TESTS The U.S. has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for a new coronavirus test that reduces the result time from days to mere hours. Developed by Roche, it is expected to speed up the ability to test patients by tenfold. BUSINESS STRATEGIES FOR COPING WITH COVID-19 Companies all over the globe are struggling to cope with the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis. Beatrix Morath, managing director of AlixPartners in Switzerland, recommends these tools and strategies to help lessen the impact on businesses. CHINESE EXPATS LOOK TO HOMELAND AS ESCAPE FROM EUROPE’S CORONAVIRUS CRISIS Sally Yan, who has lived in Switzerland for 13 years, left her home in Zurich over the weekend to wait out the coronavirus pandemic in what she believes to be a safer location: Shanghai.  CHF 10 BILLION FOR SWISS BUSINESSES HIT BY CORONAVIRUS The Swiss government announced CHF 10 billion in aid for businesses and tightened borders as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to surge.  OUTLOOK DARKENS FOR TRAVEL INDUSTRY Tourasia and Diethelm Travel, a destination management company in Southeast Asia, saw business decline by 60 percent in February—and March will be worse, says CEO Stephan Roemer.  GLOBAL AIRLINES CALL ON GOVERNMENTS FOR REGULATORY, FINANCIAL AID The airline industry is facing “one of the most severe crises” in 20 years, warned Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). CORONAVIRUS CAUSES SWISS WATCHMAKERS MORE GRIEF For Swiss watchmakers, the coronavirus crisis in China has been a double whammy. Not only has it hit sales in a major market, but it has also disrupted supplies of components, says Oliviero Pesenti, director of Erbas. TIPS FOR THE CONSCIENTIOUS TELECOMMUTER Not everyone enjoys working from home. Here are five tips on how to make the best of your home office during the coronavirus crisis. HOW GOVERNMENTS CAN AVERT A CORONAVIRUS CASH CRUNCH Policymakers need to come up with creative solutions to help businesses survive a potential credit crunch as the coronavirus upends the global economy, says Esty Dwek, head of global market strategy at Natixis Investment Managers.  CORONAVIRUS FUELS RECORD SALES OF COMPUTER SCREENS Screens and other office supplies are in great demand these days as the coronavirus forces people to work from home. Digitec Galaxus is among retailers who say they are seeing record-breaking sales of some items. START-UPS STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE CORONAVIRUS Cash-strapped start-ups that manage to stay afloat in the coming months may struggle to survive the economic aftermath of the coronavirus, says Jordi Montserrat, co-founder of Venturelab, a group that supports entrepreneurs in Switzerland. CORONAVIRUS IS FIRST BIG TEST FOR BITCOIN Forget gold and equity markets, Bitcoin stands in its own category, says Crypto Finance CEO Jan Brzezek. He argues that Bitcoin hasn’t reached the status of a safe haven—yet. WILL HOTEL INDUSTRY BE GUTTED BY CORONAVIRUS? Hotels are especially exposed to the effects of coronavirus, from the spate of recent cancellations to travelers not even booking because of the current uncertainty.  WHY YOU CAN’T TRUST CORONAVIRUS COUNTS At least 476 people have tested posted for coronavirus in Switzerland, but that number isn’t a reliable measure of the outbreak. SWISS BORDER OPEN FOR BUSINESS The 68,000 Italians employed in Switzerland are vital to the economy, says the president of AITI, the industry association of Ticino, which explains why the Swiss border remains open despite the lockdown in neighboring Italy. CORONAVIRUS SHUTS DOWN ITALY BUT SWISS BORDER REMAINS OPEN Despite a nationwide shutdown in Italy, cross-border workers are still welcome in Switzerland. CNNMoney Switzerland reports from Chiasso as the number of cases of the virus continues to grow.  WORLD IS LOSING BATTLE TO CONTAIN CORONAVIRUS, ETH PROFESSOR SAYS Countries including Switzerland are abandoning efforts to keep a precise count of coronavirus cases and are focusing instead on helping hospitals cope with patient overload, says Michael Hengartner, president of the board at Swiss university ETH.  SOCIAL DISTANCING AT THE SWISS STOCK EXCHANGE The Swiss stock exchange operator today joined a growing number of financial institutions that are instructing some employees to work from home or other locations as the financial industry braces for disruption from the rapidly spreading coronavirus.  SWAPPING HANDSHAKES FOR ELBOW BUMPS As authorities around the world scramble to contain the coronavirus, people are facing a new dilemma: how to greet someone without a handshake. Here are five suggestions. READY, SET, GO? THE LATEST ON TOKYO 2020 Is Japan ready to host the Olympic Games and deal with the coronavirus? CNN International correspondent Blake Essig reports from Japan’s newly-built national stadium in Tokyo. IOC TAKING WAIT-AND-SEE APPROACH TO CORONAVIRUS Coronavirus was a major topic at this week’s meeting of the International Olympic Committee’s executive board in Lausanne. But President Thomas Bach says the words “cancellation” and “postponement” never came up.  STUCK AT HOME? THE SWISS GOVERNMENT’S EMERGENCY KIT Do you know what you need to survive a crisis? If you don’t, fear not—the Swiss government has you covered. Its decades-old list includes bottled water, rice, batteries, and yes, chocolate and cheese. TECHNOLOGY POWERS UNPRECEDENTED SCIENTIFIC COLLABORATION AGAINST VIRUS Advances in technology are coming together during the coronavirus epidemic to help scientists break new ground at an unprecedented rate. FEELING ILL? DON’T RUSH TO THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE! The spread of coronavirus is pushing people to seek medical advice—by phone. The Swiss government’s coronavirus hotline, run by Basel-based Medgate, has logged more 20,000 calls over the past five weeks. SNB IN A TIGHT SPOT AFTER FED’S CORONAVIRUS CUT The Swiss National Bank will probably participate in any coordinated action by central banks to shore up the global economy in response to the coronavirus epidemic, the former deputy governor of Ireland’s central bank said Tuesday.  CORONA-BUSTER: HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HAND SANITIZER Coronavirus fears have sent the demand for hand sanitizers soaring. Many pharmacies and online shops in Switzerland are sold out. But making your own hand disinfectant isn’t hard.  CORONAVIRUS: THE RISK OF NOT TRAVELING Millions of jobs in Europe rely on the tourism industry, which has been rocked by the coronavirus. “We’re almost getting to the stage where travelers have something of a moral duty to continue to travel,” says travel writer Simon Calder. SWISS TOURISM STILL OPTIMISTIC DESPITE CORONAVIRUS Thousands of hotel rooms are empty following the cancellation of major Swiss events. Cafés, bars, and restaurants are seeing fewer customers. Adrien Genier, CEO of Geneva Tourism & Conventions Foundation, says that the industry is still optimistic the situation will turn around. VIRUS LEADS TO WORLDWIDE EXPERIMENT IN WORKING FROM HOME The idea that employees need to be present in the office remains persistent despite huge leaps in technology since the SARS outbreak in 2003, when there were only laptops and basic mobile phones. But that may be about to change as the coronavirus forces tens of millions of people in China and beyond to work from home. WITH BASELWORLD ON HOLD, NOW BEGINS THE BATTLE OF THE DATES On the heels of the Geneva Motor Show being cancelled, the verdict is also in for Baselworld 2020: The watch and jewelry exhibition is officially postponed until the end of January 2021. The question now is how rival fair Watches and Wonders Geneva will respond to the move, as the two expos had previously agreed to sync up their dates to boost attendance. CARMAKERS MAY GET COLD FEET IN FUTURE AFTER MOTOR SHOW CANCELED Automakers may reconsider the value of big, expensive car shows after the Geneva Motor Show was cancelled due to coronavirus fears, says Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer at CNN Business. GENEVA MOTOR SHOW, BASELWORLD AXED AS SWITZERLAND BANS BIG GATHERINGS The Geneva Motor Show was cancelled Friday due to coronavirus fears, dealing a fresh blow to an industry already crippled by the outbreak in China. Baselworld, one of the world’s largest watch fairs, was also called off after the Swiss government announced a ban on public and private gatherings involving more than 1,000 people. The measure, valid through March 15, takes effect immediately.    SIEMENS SEES CORONAVIRUS HITTING ITS BOTTOM LINE The German industrial giant Siemens expects the coronavirus epidemic to dent its financial performance this year, the head of its Swiss business said in an interview with CNNMoney.   SWISS MULTINATIONALS MOUNT DEFENSE AGAINST CORONAVIRUS Many Swiss multinationals have adopted policies to prevent workers in Asia from contracting or spreading the coronavirus. Now they are applying these restrictions closer to home as the disease gains ground in Europe.  CORONAVIRUS: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF Preventing coronavirus is all about personal hygiene. Here the World Health Organization explains how you can minimize exposure and help protect others around you.  WORRIED ABOUT YOUR CROSS-BORDER COLLEAGUE? About 6.5 percent of workers in Switzerland commute from neighboring countries, including Italy, raising concerns they could bring the coronavirus with them. Economiesuisse says such fears are exaggerated, adding that many Swiss businesses can be run from home if need be. CARNIVAL REVELERS MOCK VIRUS THREAT The Venice Carnival has been cut short due to the outbreak of coronavirus, but that isn’t stopping revelers in Lucerne from celebrating their biggest party of the year. HOW TICINO IS DEALING WITH VIRUS THREAT Hours before Switzerland confirmed its first case of coronavirus, the city of Lugano was already on edge.  SCHOOL’S OUT IN CHINA, BUT EDUCATION STILL COMES FIRST A deadly epidemic is still no excuse to slack off. Demand for online education has surged in China as the coronavirus confines children to their homes. CORONAVIRUS CATCHES UP WITH SWITZERLAND A 70-year-old man from Ticino was diagnosed with the virus on Tuesday, about a week after he returned from a trip to northern Italy, health officials said.   For more stories, subscribe to our YouTube channel, our Newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
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