Nearly 20,000 cases of Covid-19 among Amazon workers

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Amazon said more than 19,816 of its frontline workers in the United States have contracted Covid-19 since March.

That number equates to 1.44% of its 1.37 million workers on Amazon and its subsidiary Whole Foods.

Amazon had been criticized by employees, unions and elected officials, who accused the company of putting workers’ health at risk.

But the online sales giant said its infection rate was lower than expected.

Amazon has kept its facilities open throughout the pandemic to meet increased demand from buyers stranded in their homes.

Staying open has proven to be very lucrative for the e-commerce business and added to the wealth of founder Jeff Bezos, who is the richest man in the world.

The tech giant’s sales soared 40% to $ 88.9 billion (£ 67.9 billion) in the three months ending June, and its quarterly profit of $ 5.2 billion ( £ 4bn) was the largest since the company was launched in 1994.

Low infections

In a blog post, Amazon argued that 33,952 workers would have contracted the virus if Amazon’s infection rate had matched that of the general population, given the age and geography of the employees.

Figures include seasonal staff and those who may have been infected outside of work.

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The company said it has “introduced or changed more than 150 processes,” distributed more than 100 million face masks and implemented temperature controls at its facilities around the world.

Amazon said it has introduced social distancing measures and additional cleanup, which “happens on every site about every 90 minutes.”

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Media legend“Mr. Bezos… why the hell would one of your partners compare your business to a drug dealer?” “

Amazon has challenged other companies to make their own Covid-19 statistics public.

“This information would be more powerful if there was similar data from other large employers with which to compare it,” Amazon said in the blog post.

Athena, a coalition that has opposed Amazon on a wide range of labor, planning and environmental issues, called on officials to investigate further.

“Amazon has allowed Covid-19 to spread like wildfire,” Athena director Dania Rajendra said in a statement.

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