“We hope soon to start testing a small number of our employees in direct contact with the public,” said the American group.
E-commerce giant Amazon claims to have created its own lab to test its American employees at the new coronavirus, against a background of growing concern about their health. The group, which employed 750,000 people at the start of the year around the world before increasing its workforce to meet the surge in demand, said it had strengthened its means to carry out screenings.
“Amazon employees with different skills – scientific researchers, program managers, procurement specialists, computer engineers – have put their daily jobs on hold to join a team dedicated to this initiative”, the group said in a blog post Thursday evening. “We have started to assemble the equipment necessary to build our first laboratory and we hope soon to start testing a small number of our employees in direct contact with the public.”
Amazon said it made the decision because of a shortage of tests to confirm infections and fear that asymptomatic workers would spread the disease. “If everyone, including people without symptoms, could be tested regularly, it would make a huge difference in how we fight this virus”, said Amazon.
“Those who test positive could be quarantined and taken care of, and all those who test negative could re-enter the economy with confidence”, suggested the giant of Seattle. Cases of Covid-19 positive employees have been identified in several Amazon warehouses. In response, group employees organized demonstrations and walkouts to demand increased security. Amazon started measuring employee temperatures and distributing masks to them last week.