Record 618,903 People in England and Wales ‘Pinged’ Last Week

Almost 620,000 people in England and Wales were told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid app in just one week, up from roughly 520,000 the week before. This is a grim record that highlights the extent of the damage being caused by the so-called “pingdemic“, and will likely be beaten again. Sky News has the story.

The alerts were sent to users of the app in the week to July 14th, telling them they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus and to self-isolate.

Of those, 607,486 alerts were sent to people in England – up 16.8% on the 520,194 recorded for England in the previous week.

A further approximately 428,000 people were contacted by NHS Test and Trace contact tracers in England and told to self-isolate in the week to July 14th, the latest figures show – about 90% of the 475,465 people identified as close contacts of Covid cases.

This came after 259,265 people tested positive for Covid in England at least one in the same period, up 33% on the previous week.

It is the first set of figures since the majority of restrictions were lifted in England last Monday. …

And on Tuesday, Downing Street said it was “crucial” that people isolate when they are pinged by the NHS Covid app.

Speaking to Kay Burley on Thursday, Kwasi Kwarteng said the Government was “very concerned” about the numbers of people being pinged by the NHS app.

Mr Kwarteng said ministers were “monitoring” the situation and would be setting out a list of exempt critical workers “very soon”, with the expectation that it will be published on Thursday.

The consequences of what has been dubbed the recent “pingdemic” has been reports of empty shelves in some supermarkets, businesses left without staff and delays in supplies reaching consumers.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: The latest ONS data on the percentage of the adult population with antibodies against Covid suggests self-isolating is unnecessary. More than nine in 10 U.K. adults would test positive for antibodies, the figures show.

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