A supermarket worker is fighting for her life after catching coronavirus after serving customers without protective equipment, it has been claimed.

Co-op worker Clare Hill was working in a branch before being struck by the illness and taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

The infection has forced the 44-year-old staff member into an induced coma in intensive care for five days, reports The Mirror.

He distraught husband Steven has criticised her employers for not supplying masks and other sufficient personal protection equipment.

The Co-Op store where Clare worked before she was taken ill

He said: “She was just doing her job like everyone else.

"These people should have had protection two or three weeks ago.

Mr Hill added: “She came home from work a week ago with a headache.

"She went to bed and she stayed in bed Wednesday because she was still feeling a bit rough.

“I phoned 111 but she didn't show any of the other symptoms at that point so they said to just keep an eye on her.

“Thursday night she developed a cough.

"I phoned 111 again Friday morning and we ended up taking her into hospital that afternoon.'

“We have got the biggest pandemic crisis for centuries and people are expected to go to work without gloves and masks.

“That's not just the way Clare works, that's throughout the country.”

Southern Co-operative Society, which manages the store, said it has been following advice from Public Health England (PHE) and the Association of Convenience Stores.

A spokeswoman for the chain said: 'Whilst there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 was contracted at work, we are deeply saddened that one of our colleagues has been hospitalised and have offered our support to her family.

“This pandemic continues to move at pace and like all retailers we are working quickly to implement measures in response to the latest government advice.

“We have been closely following Government advice to ensure everyone’s ongoing protection with measures including social distancing and additional time for handwashing which remains the most effective means of reducing risk according to the Government.

“We are also currently rolling out protective screens as fast as we practically can.

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“Unfortunately, like all retailers, we've faced significant delays beyond our control in obtaining additional gloves and hand sanitiser, as national supplies we suspect are being redeployed to NHS frontline staff.

“We are also closely monitoring Government advice on face masks which currently states that masks serve little use outside of a clinical setting.”