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Coronavirus outbreak | Google temporarily shuts down its China offices

At present, Google's offices in China are closed due to the extended Lunar New Year holiday as announced by the government to minimise spread of the novel coronavirus.

January 30, 2020 / 11:23 AM IST

The deadly coronavirus, which has killed 170 people and infected over 7,700 so far, mainly in China, has led to several companies shutting down their offices temporarily.

After tech giants Apple and Facebook, Google has reportedly announced a temporary shutdown of all its offices in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A company spokesperson told The Verge it is following the government’s guidelines and has also implemented restrictions on business travel. 

Currently, its offices in China are closed due to the extended Lunar New Year holiday as announced by the government to minimise the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Google has also advised its employees in China and their immediate family members to return to the US as soon as possible and to work from home for 14 days from the day of departure.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Although Google has very limited services in China, it works closely with manufacturers for its hardware products like the Pixel, Google Home, etc. 

Apart from Google, Apple and Facebook, too, have restricted business travel to China. Apple has reportedly closed three of its stores in China.
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first published: Jan 30, 2020 11:23 am
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