Vaccine’s have been rolled out efficiently across the UK and hospitals seem to be coping with covid cases, but sectors of the country are reportedly buckling under the pressure of the so-called ‘pingdemic’.
The chaos is being caused by the NHS Covid app – which is ‘pinging’ hundreds of thousands of Brits. Those who have been ‘pinged’ have to then stay home and isolate.
The mass pinging has already resulted in wide-spread disruption as many people can no longer go into work and companies are going without staff.
Supermarkets are being pictured bare, the Police are reporting slower response times due to short-staff, whilst BP and Iceland are warning they face shop closures.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said that the government are monitoring the ‘pingdemic’ closely, as concerns grow for industry up and down Britain.
But it’s not only businesses suffering under the new evolution of the pandemic – it seems that regular every-day life is becoming disrupted with app alerts.
Even hopeful couples are having to cancel weddings after months of waiting, as the government have told them they must stop their celebrations and isolate if they are pinged.
How accurate is the NHS Covid app?
The NHS have explained that the app pings those who have been in ‘close contact’ with a positive-testing person: ‘Close contact is based on an algorithm, but generally means you’ve been within 2 metres of someone with coronavirus for 15 minutes or more.’
Calls have been made to make the Covid app more sensitive, so as to prevent the mass-pinging, however the government are refusing to tinker with the app.
Do I have to isolate if I’ve been ‘pinged’?
Legally, you do not have to stay home if you’ve been pinged. This is because downloading the NHS Covid app is voluntary.
That is not to say you shouldn’t self isolate – it’s just that there is not legal obligation.
If you receive an email, text or phone call from the Test and Trace service, then you must legally isolate.
Professor Tim Spector told Sky : “I think employers should tell their staff if they feel unwell, they have cold-like symptoms, then they stay away.
But I don’t think the app saying that someone might have passed them by in a supermarket is actually that useful anymore in the current state of the pandemic.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference on Monday that some key workers would be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated.