2nd Apr 2020
Ocado has ordered 100,000 COVID-19 test kits for staff contributing to the food supply effort. The food delivery company has said the kits will be used to test staff regularly, ensuring customers who are unable to visit supermarkets because of lockdown protocols can continue to receive food deliveries safely.
According to the company, demand for food delivery during the coronavirus outbreak is 10 times higher than on average. In an email statement, Ocado said: “No matter how hard we work, we do not have enough capacity to serve these unprecedented levels of demand.”
However, it has said it is “working round the clock” to get as much food as possible delivered, while Chairman Stuart Rose assured customers that “nobody will starve” during the outbreak.
“Our priorities are the safety and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and the community,” said the company.
Ocado, which has paid £1.5 million for the testing kits, has promised to hand them over to the NHS if necessary.
The government has recently been criticised for delays in testing NHS healthcare workers. Despite the purchase of 3.5 million testing kits, these have been slow to reach frontline staff most at risk of contracting the virus from patients.