Tesco said its employees will start receiving coronavirus tests this week as the government steps up testing efforts.
In a letter to customers, CEO Dave Lewis said Tesco will begin testing the tests for its employees in a region of the United Kingdom.
It is understood that the voluntary test will be available for around 200 employees and comes after discussions between supermarket managers and the government.
The supermarket added that the test will only be for “critical workers who are currently experiencing symptoms or those who are experiencing symptoms and living with critical workers”.
Tesco said about 41,000 staff members are absent every day, the number continues to drop.
Tesco employee voluntary test will be available to approximately 200 employees and comes after discussions between supermarket managers and the government
Tesco said about 41,000 of its staff are absent every day, the figure is steadily decreasing (photo, a buyer wears protection in a Tesco supermarket)
He said he had recruited 50,000 temporary workers to fill the gap and continue operations in recent weeks.
The supermarket saw its sales jump, as shoppers stocked up on essentials to cope with the virus, as demand for home deliveries increased.
Lewis has told his customers that Tesco is offering close to a million delivery slots this week, following an increase of 400,000 slots in the past six weeks.
“We will increase this number to 1.2 million deliveries per week in the coming weeks,” he added.
The supermarket also announced that it would donate £ 15 million of food to community groups and food banks over the next 12 weeks, in addition to its monthly meal donation worth £ 3 million.
Lewis said, “Nothing we do would be possible without the support of our colleagues or the patience and understanding of our customers.
“There have been a lot of changes in a very short time, and a lot for you and our colleagues to adapt to it. Thank you again for your support. ‘
The death toll from coronavirus in the UK has reached 18,094 today. Over 120,000 have also been infected with the virus
There were huge queues at Tesco supermarket at the start of the coronavirus lockdown (photo, a store in Osterley, London last month)
The news comes amid concerns over the safety of merchants and supermarket staff during the coronavirus pandemic after a series of fatalities among workers.
The latter saw a FreshGo staff member in Gipsy Hill, south London, die as a result of a hospital spell.
The official, known only as Kumar, is said to have worked alongside other people at the convenience store, which is still open.
It is understood that another staff member from the same store is also fighting the virus in a London hospital.
Worried residents said the store – which is tiny and has narrow aisles – did not follow a “one in one, one out” policy and that the staff had little protection.
A staff member, known only as Kumar (above), who worked at FreshGo in Gipsy Hill, south London, died from a coronavirus. There are growing concerns about the safety of store workers during the pandemic after a series of fatalities among those working in the retail trade
Kumar died from a hospital stay. He is said to have worked with others at the convenience store (above), which is still open. Worried residents said the store, which is tiny and narrow aisles, did not follow a “one in one, one out” policy and staff received little protection
Above, a sign outside the FreshGo store in Gipsy Hill offering support during the coronavirus. It is understood that another staff member from the same store is also fighting the virus in a London hospital
A JustGiving site has already raised almost £ 2,000 for the man’s family, with organizer Siobhann Carolan saying: “Kumar has worked tirelessly for years at FreshGo and has been appreciated by all customers.
“He was always helpful, cheerful and attentive at all hours of the day and night. The funds raised will go directly to his family to help them get through this really difficult period.
But other users of the store said they were more unhappy not to have done anything to limit the spread of the virus in the store.
Jade Kyle said, “It’s so sad. They’re all such good guys. I wondered why they suddenly implemented social distancing in the store yesterday.
Georgia Mancio said, “With this added pressure on small stores, I think they should only allow one person at a time. “
Sandra Schmidt added: “It’s terrible. I’m actually in tears. My partner went there four weeks ago and no one was wearing a mask or gloves.
There has been an overabundance of coronavirus deaths among traders and their staff. They include Raj Aggarwal, 51 – whose latest Facebook post (above) showed him dropping a shipment of tea, coffee and cookies to NHS workers at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester
“My partner was the only one who had a mask and gloves and they all looked at him like he was disturbed. Someone asked the man if they intended to stay open and he replied, “We will always be open! ” We laughed afterwards. It was the last time we went there.
Kayleigh Louise Barnes replied, “To be fair, all of the men who work there have been in contact with him, so they should be isolated, but they are always open, which is a bit selfish given that they serve the public . “
Jen Batchelor added, “They have to thoroughly clean the shop and the products and the rest of the staff have to isolate themselves. “
It occurs after a glut of other deaths among traders and their staff.
Among them was Raj Aggarwal – whose latest Facebook post showed him dropping a shipment of tea, coffee and cookies to NHS workers at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.
But just 13 days later, the father of two children, 51, who ran two Spar stores and a café with his brother Sanjiv, 50, died.
Just 13 days after being posted on Facebook, Mr. Aggarwal (above, with his wife, Sunita), a father of two who ran two Spar stores and a cafe with his 50-year-old brother Sanjiv, died.
On March 27, he posted on Facebook: “Next stop at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital, to drop off tea, coffee and cookies for our front line NHS staff who do an incredible job #strongertogether. “
Stuart Reddish, National President of the Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN), told MailOnline today: “We are deeply saddened to have lost four of our coronavirus members and the Federation is doing everything it can to support the needs of their families right now.
“Independent stores are at the heart of their communities and NFRN members, family members and staff go above and beyond to provide their customers with the essentials they need, whether in their stores or by offering delivery services to the elderly. , vulnerable and confined to the home.
“In these most difficult times, they are risking their own health and safety to provide communities and customers with a lifesaver and I am extremely proud of them.
The NFRN has also launched a fund to help traders in difficulty if they feel they cannot stay open.
The NFRN Covid-19 Hardship Fund was created to alleviate some of the financial pressures that independent retailers may face.