There is growing fear in the United Kingdom that the so-called ‘pingdemic’ is causing food shortages. “We are very concerned about the situation”, admitted Economic Affairs Minister Kwasi Quarteng, who was asked about photos of empty shelves in supermarkets. “We are monitoring the situation.”
In the United Kingdom, hundreds of thousands of people have received calls through an official app to go into home quarantine in a week. They are seen as having been approached by someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and therefore ‘pinged’, meaning they have received a notification on their phone.
The business community has already complained about staff shortages due to Brexit and now says the situation is at risk of getting worse due to the pandemic. According to Sky News, there are warnings that the supply chain is “starting to fail” as truck drivers and people in the meat sector are stuck at home.
The pandemic dominated the front page of British media on Thursday. “Pingdemic disrupts the food supply in supermarkets,” The Daily Telegraph headlines. The Sun and Daily Mail opened with photos of empty shelves. The Times writes, “Fear of lack of stores is vulnerable to ‘pingdemic’.”
Home quarantine not mandatory
Some companies are taking matters into their own hands. The Bidfood company has called on ‘pinged’ employees to come to work if PCR tests show they are not infected. CEO Andrew Seely told the BBC that his employees play an important role in the food chain.
Government services also cannot escape the consequences of the pandemic. According to Sky News, police have already indicated that several employees in some control rooms are out of work. As a result, it is not always possible to answer telephone calls promptly. Cleveland Police say employees’ leave is being canceled.
British people are not legally obligated to go into home quarantine for ten days if they receive a notification via the app. They don’t even need to put it on their phone. This is only an urgent advice. Still, many heeded the call and as a result the government is under pressure to take measures. The government has already decided that from 16 August, fully vaccinated people will not have to self-isolate if they come into the picture during contact research, unless they test positive themselves.
Free Unlimited Access to Showbytes? Who can do it?
Log in or create an account and don’t miss any stars.
Alcohol maven. Incurable pop culture specialist. Communicator. Gamer. Certified explorer.