Market Overview

Amazon Confirms Five Coronavirus Cases Among Employees In Italy, Spain

Amazon Confirms Five Coronavirus Cases Among Employees In Italy, Spain

At least five Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe, CNBC reported Monday.

What Happened

The workers were employed in warehouses in Italy and Spain, two of the worst affected countries outside of China.

Italy is currently under a nationwide lockdown with at least 27,980 confirmed cases of the virus. Spain has reported nearly 10,000 cases by press time, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Amazon continues to operate its warehouses in the countries despite the outbreak.

"We are going to great lengths to keep the buildings extremely clean and help employees practice important precautions such as social distancing and other measures," an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC.

"Those who don't want to come to work are welcome to use paid and unpaid time off options and we support them in doing so."

The spokesperson added that a "vast majority" of its employees continue to come to work.

Why It Matters

Amazon previously confirmed a case in Italy, followed by two other cases in Seattle in the U.S. The e-commerce giant has asked all its employees who can work from home to do so.

Warehouse and delivery workers, on whom Amazon relies for its supply-chain, can't work from home, and only have the option to take unpaid leaves if they haven't been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Amazon announced a $25 million relief fund last week for all full-time and hourly workers who contract COVID-19 or are quarantined by the authorities.

The company is also under operational pressure as it fails to meet delivery time, and some products become out of stock due to surging demand in the U.S.

With federal and state governments asking citizens to practice social-distancing, an increased number of people are turning to home-delivery of goods.

Amazon announced Monday that it is looking to hire another 100,000 workers in the U.S. temporarily to meet the demand, encouraging people from other sectors who have lost their jobs to the outbreak to apply.

Price Action

Amazon's shares closed 5.37% lower at $1,689.15 on Monday. The stock traded 3.42% higher at $1,746.89 per share in the after-hours session.


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