More than 500,000 people in the UK have received self-isolation notifications as a result of the ‘pingdemic.’
During the first week of July, the NHS Test and Trace App in England and Wales sent out almost 500,000 isolation notifications.
The total number of alerts sent was 530,126, up 46% over the previous week. Unions claim that a record number of people in England and Wales have been ordered to self-isolate for up to 10 days, causing “havoc” on the production line.
“I believe we are potentially hours, not days or weeks, away from our first temporary closure of sites within the UK,” Unite’s National Officer for Automotive, Steve Bush, told BBC Newsnight.
He told Emma Barnett that the number of people who are self-isolating is causing company challenges.
Steve Turner, Bush’s colleague, is also concerned about the economic consequences of self-isolation.
“It is evident that something has to be done in time for July 19, or else individuals will just start deleting the app en masse to avoid isolation notices,” Unite’s assistant general secretary warned.
Professor Lucy Easthope, a disaster preparedness expert who advises the government, believes it’s unsurprising that the app has resulted in a staffing shortage.
She added, “We were afraid we’d see 80 percent absenteeism in some workforces.”
“There will come a time when we can no longer operate in that manner, particularly in areas such as food production.”
This comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom continues to climb.
Another 48,533 Covid cases were reported in the United Kingdom yesterday, including 63 pandemic-related deaths.
With England’s remaining social distancing laws likely to be lifted on Monday, some are concerned that Test and Trace alarms may rise again.
The obligation for wearing a face mask will be abolished across England on July 19th.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s, on the other hand, have stated that they will continue to ask customers to conceal their faces when entering stores.
In mid-August, rules in England will alter to allow fully vaccinated people to avoid being isolated if they come into touch with someone who has infected the coronavirus.
According to The Telegraph, the app has been criticized since it is thought to be able to pierce walls and ping neighbors, informing them they need to self-isolate.
You will receive a notification to self-isolate if you have downloaded the app and come into contact with someone who has infected the virus at a distance of two meters for 15 minutes.