United Kingdom: what is the “pingdemic” and why is it related to the Delta Variation | The effect of new infections

The word “pingdemic” began to be used in recent days to refer to the shortage of British supermarkets. It refers to the increase in infections due to the expansion of the Delta variant That causes many workers in the sector to isolate themselves.

The “pingdemic” is a play on words between “ping”, the sound made by the official notification of cell phones indicating the obligation to isolate oneself, and “epidemic”.

The number of new positives in the country skyrocketed in recent weeks, touching 50,000 a day, for which hundreds of thousands of contact cases were forced to isolate themselves, leaving many economic sectors without personnel, from transport to food distribution.

Other businesses, such as stores, service stations and even the post office are being affected by the absences.

More of 600,000 people who used the public health system virus testing and tracking application Known as “NHS Covid-19” in England and Wales they received alerts to isolate themselves in the week of July 8-15, representing a 17 percent increase over the previous week, the BBC reported. .

The alerts in the app notifies users if they were in close contact with a positive case of coronavirus, so it is recommended that they be isolated for ten days.

In England, 607,486 alerts were sent to users in the period between July 8 and 15 and another 11,417 in Wales.

In that sense, many Brits are removing the app from their phones so as not to be alerted and to avoid having to isolate themselves, as revealed by a survey by the consultancy YouGov.

Faced with this situation, the Government announced for its part that certain industries may request personnel exemptions, which will allow essential workers who were alerted to return to work after a PCR test instead of quarantine.

On the front pages of most of the British press today there were photos of empty supermarket shelves, a reflection of the consequences the situation is having. In the background is the growth of coronavirus cases due to community transmission of the Delta variant, considered more contagious.

According to the British news site iNews, members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said Prime Minister Boris Johnson should be ready to take action in the first week of August to prevent public hospitals from being overcrowded.

At the rate that infections are going, daily hospitalizations in the UK are expected to reach between 1,000 and 2,000 by the end of next month, while daily deaths could range between 100 and 200.

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