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Ta opp 618,000 folk pinget av NHS Covid-appen i England og Wales om en uke

Ta opp 618,000 folk pinget av NHS Covid-appen i England og Wales om en uke
Figure jumps by around 100,000 in just seven days

A record 618,903 ‘pings’ were sent to users of the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales in the week to 14 juli, telling them to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for koronavirus, NHS figures show.

The figure compares to a total of 520,194 alerts which were sent out in the week to 7 juli.

The latest figures were released as the government struggles to contain the “pingdemic” which is being blamed for empty supermarket shelves and staff shortages.

Despite hopes that many fully-vaccinated critical workers would be exempt from the isolating when changes to the system are brought in on 16 august, Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, said the list of exemptions would be “very narrow”.

One food distribution firm struggling with workers told to isolate is advising staff who are pinged by the NHS app to take tests and continue working, in breach of the government advice.

Bidfood chief executive Andrew Selley defended his approach for delivery drivers to continue working if they have negative results as “appropriate and safe” because they are “critical workers”.

Separate NHS figures made public on Thursday morning showed that a total of 259,265 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to 14 juli, up 33 per cent on the previous week, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

It is the highest number since the week to 20 januar.

Av 223,338 people transferred to the Test and Trace system in the week to 14 juli, 85.6 per cent were reached and asked to provide details of recent close contacts.

This is down from 86.5 per cent the previous week and is the lowest proportion since the week to 28 October last year.

Og 64.7 per cent of people who were tested for Covid-19 in England in the week ending 14 July at a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit – a so-called “in-person” test – received their result within 24 timer.

This is up slightly from 63 per cent the previous week.

Boris Johnson had pledged that, by the end of June 2020, the results of all in-person tests would be back within 24 timer.

Ytterligere rapportering fra PA