500,000 users ‘pinged’ in one week on the Covid app, with manufacturers on the verge of closure.
Ministers were pressed yesterday to move forward with plans to exclude double-jabbed Britons from self-isolation regulations.
It comes after a half-million users on the NHS Covid app were “pinged” and told to stay at home in a single week, exacerbating personnel shortages in factories and other sectors. From August 16, the rules will be lifted for those who have been properly vaccinated. However, following the staffing upheaval, health and business leaders have urged for immediate action.
As the number of cases continues to climb, there are real concerns that crucial services will be disrupted.
The Department of Health and Social Care’s NHS Covid-19 app is simple to use and download.
If a close contact tests positive for Covid, users may receive a “ping” alarm.
During the week of July 7, 520,194 alerts were sent out in England, notifying users that they may have been infected with the virus.
This was up 46% over the previous week’s record of 356,677, and more than four times greater than a month before.
Staffing issues have arisen as a result of the increasing number of people who are now self-isolating.
Some firms, particularly in the automotive sector, are on the verge of closure, according to the Unite union.
Up to 900 workers were reportedly sent home from the Nissan car plant in Sunderland, accounting for more than 10% of the workforce.
“The complaints Unite is receiving from our members and their employers are highly concerning,” said Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner.
“It is not an exaggeration to suggest that factories are on the verge of closing and that hundreds of people are out of work at some locations.
“It’s evident that something needs to be done before July 19, or else people will start deleting the app in droves to avoid being isolated.
“If test and trace is perceived as a nuisance rather than an infection control mechanism, there will be public health consequences.”
Self-isolation, according to the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, is impeding efforts to reduce the treatment backlog.
They urged for fully vaccinated NHS employees to be excused if they be traced as a close contact in a joint statement.
“The risk of patients contracting Covid from vaccinated healthcare professionals is negligible when compared to the harm that patients may incur if their treatment is delayed,” they stated.
“Without this exemption,” says the Brinkwire Summary News.