Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday rubbished the claims of Edpidemiologists at Imperial College of London, who forecasted deaths of millions of people due to novel coronavirus. Musk, who believes that the widespread concern about the coronavirus is overblown, replied to a tweet saying that there is zero percent chance of deaths numbers to be in millions.
The widely shared report predicts that deaths from the virus could reach 2.2 millions in the United States and 510,000 in the United Kingdom. The study suggests that only a vaccine could help resolve the coronavirus crisis and at most, only radical measures could cut both numbers in half.
The Silicon Valley auto maker had continued to make Model Y sport-utility vehicle at its Fremont factory a day after counties in the San Francisco area issued an 'shelter in place' order that limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential, and advises people to stay home except for the most crucial reasons.
Musk had called the coronavirus panic dumb and mind-killer on Twitter, Tesla CEO had also written an email to employees, saying "coronavirus panic is worse than virus itself".
"First, I'd like to be super clear that if you feel the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable, please don't feel obligated to come to work. I will personally be at work, but that is just me. Totally okay if you want to stay home for any reason," he said in the email addressed to the employees in Bay Area.
Tesla's factory in Fremont employs more than 10,000 workers and recorded annualized production of about 415,000 electric vehicles as at the end of December.
Elon Musk has said the model will see higher demand than all of Tesla's other models combined.
The order will be an additional headache for Tesla, which was forced to shut down its $2 billion Shanghai factory for 10 days on top of the traditional week-long Lunar New Year holiday this year due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
With inputs from AFP