Daily Management Review

Amazon sets to check employees for COVID-19


Amazon intends to test employees around the world for coronavirus. The company began creation of its first laboratory. Large-scale testing can be one of the ways to restart the economy and return people to work, says Bezos.

Cory Doctorow via flickr
Cory Doctorow via flickr
Regular checks of Amazon employees for coronavirus could be the company's next step in the fight against infection, said the firm’s CEO Jeff Bezos in an annual letter to shareholders. The company has already set about creating a system of inspections and hired a separate team of engineers, scientists and managers. Amazon will launch its own laboratory and has already began to purchase the necessary equipment. The Internet retailer hopes to soon launch the first tests of employees who are most at risk of infection. The company will conduct the test even if people have no symptoms of the disease. “We do not know how far we will go, but we believe that it is worth a try, and we are ready to share everything that we learn,” Bezos wrote.

As of December 31, Amazon employed over 800,000 people. In mid-March, the company announced that it would hire 100,000 more couriers and warehouse employees to cope with increased demand due to isolation.

The billionaire believes that regular inspections at the global level and in all areas will help to maintain people's health and help the economy recover. But today, society needs a larger scale of verification than is available now. “If every person can be checked regularly, then there will be big changes in the way we fight the virus. Those whose tests turn out to be positive can be isolated and taken care of. People with a negative test result can confidently return to work,” said Bezos.

Head of Amazon added that the company increased salaries for the period of the pandemic. For these purposes, it will spend over $ 500 million only until the end of April.

Bezos' annual letters provide a rare opportunity to understand what the businessman is thinking about and what his plans for Amazon are, Bloomberg explains. In recent years, the billionaire rarely gave interviews; he made almost no public statements either.

source: bloomberg.com