LONDON, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Major supermarkets plan to create tens of thousands of extra jobs across Britain to help keep shops open and stocked during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
As of 9a.m. (0900GMT) on Saturday, 72,818 people have been tested in Britain, of which 67,800 were confirmed negative and 5,018 were confirmed positive. 233 patients in the country who tested positive for the virus have died.
Aldi, Asda and Lidl have announced they will recruit 16,500 workers -- 4,000 of the roles permanent -- to cope with the surging demand for groceries, the British media reported.
Supermarket Lidl said it wants to recruit 2,500 workers on a four-week contract to start immediately across the country to help restock shelves and assist existing staff members.
Aldi said it needs 9,000 new workers, whilst announcing further restrictions on products, including nappies and toilet rolls reduced to two items per customer.
The moves came after Tesco, the biggest supermarket chain in Britain, announced plans to hire 20,000 new store workers to deal with an "uNPRecedented" demand from shoppers amid the pandemic.
Morrisons also plans to create 3,500 new jobs and expand its home delivery operation during the crisis.
In addition to around 2,500 order pickers and drivers to support home delivery, the grocer will be recruiting around 1,000 more people to work in its distribution centers, it said earlier this week.
Pubs, bars, theatres and restaurants have been closed across the country in the British government's latest bid to stem the coronavirus spread.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday ordered the shut down of the hospitality and entertainment sectors amid fears the British National Health Service (NHS) will be overwhelmed unless the COVID-19 outbreak is contained.
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