‘Pingdemic’: Derbyshire residents urged to continue using NHS Covid app as retailers warn of disruption

Derbyshire residents are being urged to continue using the NHS Covid-19 app – amid concerns about the number of people being ‘pinged’.
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A record 618,903 alerts telling people to self-isolate were sent to users of the app in England and Wales in the week to July 14.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi defended the figure, saying self-isolation was the second most important tool, after vaccines, for fighting coronavirus.

The NHS Covid-19 app. Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.The NHS Covid-19 app. Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
The NHS Covid-19 app. Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
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A YouGov poll this week revealed that one in 10 people had deleted the NHS app – while 31 per cent had never installed it.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council, which oversees public health locally, said: “We'd encourage everyone to follow the current Government guidelines and to continue to use the app.”

Nationally, some supermarkets have warned the rising number of workers being forced to self-isolate is starting to affect the availability of some products.

The Co-op said it was ‘running low on some products’ while Iceland has had to close some stores and reduce opening hours at others.

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Iceland urged shoppers not to panic buy, saying this was not necessary.

Sainsbury’s said it ‘might not always’ have the exact products people wanted but downplayed fears of shortages, saying the problem was not widespread.

On Friday, the Government announced that supermarket depot workers and food manufacturers will be exempt from quarantine rules.

The Government said workers, regardless of vaccination status, could do daily Covid-19 testing instead of isolating.

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The new daily contact testing measures are beginning at 15 supermarket depots, followed by 150 depots next week, but they will not apply to supermarket store staff.

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