More than 600,000 people in England and Wales received a self-isolation alert, in the week between 8 and 15 July, through the NHS Covid-19 app, designed by the British health system, which is the Portuguese equivalent of StayAway Covid.
This wave of self-isolation – mandatory, as indicated by law enforcement authorities – is causing serious disruptions in various sectors such as food retail, gas stations, freight transport and security forces.
Thursday’s editions of British newspapers reflect the understaffing, by displaying several images of empty shelves in supermarkets, this failure known as ‘pingdemic’: a word that arose from the sound ‘ping’, associated with sending an app alert.
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British Business Minister Kwasi Quarting told Sky News that the government was “extremely concerned” about the situation, as it did not expect supermarkets to close and the like.
Britain’s second-largest food chain, Sainsbury, has indicated that customers cannot find the products they want, and that when large quantities of products are delivered directly to stores, staff “focus on getting them to the shelves as quickly as possible.” “It’s possible,” a Sainsbury’s spokesman said in comments reported by Reuters.
The Icelandic food chain has announced that it will employ 2,000 people to fill absences and that it will work fewer hours a day. The well-known company Tesco has admitted that it has run out of bottled water for sale.
Fuel company BP has temporarily closed some filling stations due to fuel shortages, as there is a shortage of heavy vehicle drivers isolated by covid-19, the same source notes.
Because of this breach, the British Executive has decided that workers in certain industries, or those fighting Covid-19 on the front line, will be exempted from complying with a ten-day isolation if they are reported by the app. However, this procedure needs to be formalized.
Even with a large number of vaccinations, the number of daily COVID-19 cases has been increasing in the UK in recent weeks. However, vaccination had an impact on admissions, with fewer deaths reported than when the vaccination campaign began.
About 12% of adults and almost all children are still not immunized. It is reported that more than a million children did not go to school last week due to the spread of the virus.
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