- The UK government has reportedly approached private delivery companies including Amazon to help deliver COVID-19 tests to health and social care workers, The Financial Times reports.
- The UK government has been under considerable pressure to ramp up its testing on NHS workers.
- Amazon declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The UK government is in talks with delivery companies including Amazon to help deliver COVID-19 tests to healthcare and social care workers, the Financial Times reports.
Two anonymous public health officials told the FT that private companies with huge logisitcs networks were being approached and that while initially the project would just be delivering tests to key workers on the frontline fighting the virus, the plan is eventually to roll it out to the general public as well.
One of the officials said that one proposal would make two kinds of test orderable on Amazon’s website: The regular test to detect the virus and another to detect whether someone has antibodies against the disease, meaning they already had it and developed an immunity. Amazon’s contracted deliverypeople would then take the tests to a private diagnostic company.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the report when contacted by Business Insider.
Considerable pressure has been put on the UK government to increase its rate of testing for healthcare staff, and a petition calling to test frontline NHS employees as a priority has accrued over 1 million signatures.
Amazon has made enormous changes to its delivery and supply structures in reaction to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The company is having to balance a huge spike in demand for household and medical supplies against the health of its own employees.
The company announced last week that it was on a mass hiring spree, looking for 100,000 new warehouse workers in the US alone. CEO Jeff Bezos put out a personal call on Saturday for restaurant staff who have been laid off to sign on with Amazon, which is now offering an extra $US2 per hour to staff.