Amazon beefs up testing facilities in Manchester

Amazon is expanding its Covid-19 testing lab facilities in Manchester as the pandemic continues.

The online giant said Covid testing initiative included building state-of-the-art testing labs in Kentucky, US and Manchester to provide supplemental testing capacity, complementing the governments’ testing efforts.

It said this was to benefit both its employees and UK public health.

The in-house testing programme first launched in the US, but soon after expanded to the UK in September 2020, then quickly followed by Ireland, Germany, Poland and Spain.

Dedicated local testing is also available for Italian employees.

So far the Manchester lab has processed more than 900,000 tests.

Leading Amazon’s UK lab, and the variant testing efforts, is Dr Luke Meredith – the Lab Director managing the operations team at its lab in Manchester.

The group said: “Most recently, the rise of Covid-19 variants has added another element of complexity in the fight against the spread of the virus.

“The UK has subsequently become a leader in variant analysis, allowing scientists to adapt testing strategies based on the detection of a particular variant.

“This innovation is aiding the government’s efforts to track and implement the most appropriate transmission response based on a specific variant.

“For this reason, Amazon is now investing in variant analysis to help support health authorities in fighting the virus.

“Similar to the benefits of regularly testing asymptomatic individuals, to help slow the spread of the virus, investing in variant analysis of the positive samples of our front-line workforce enables us to detect early viral trends, and support broader community efforts to help slow the spread of new variants.”