How is the ‘pingdemic’ affecting supermarket supplies and shelves in Sunderland?
Reports are suggesting that an increase in the amount of people self-isolating due to being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid app is having an impact on the country’s food supplies – but what effect is it having on Wearside’s supermarkets?
Downing Street has admitted that it is aware of the “impact” that self-isolation rules were having on some industries but stressed that the food supply chain was “resilient”.
Reports and images are being shared online of empty supermarket shelves as supermarkets warned of distribution issues amid staff shortages due to people quarantining in what is being dubbed the “pingdemic”.
Echo reporter Ryan Smith visited three of the main supermarkets in and around Sunderland on Thursday, July 22, to see if there was any disruption.
Morrisons in Seaburn
The store on Whitburn Road appeared to have a strong stock of meats such as chicken, beef, bacon and pork on Thursday morning.
Stock of toilet rolls did look depleted in some areas, however nothing towards the extent of scenes captured at the start of the pandemic in March last year.
One thing that was noticeably was bottled water but it is unclear if this is due to the recent hot water or the ‘pingdemic’.
Asda in Boldon
One of the biggest supermarkets in close proximity to Sunderland is Asda Boldon Supercentre on North Road in Boldon Colliery.
Much like Morrisons in Seaburn, there was a lack of bottled water however. Asda Boldon also seemed to be under stocked with cordial and other fizzy drinks, which again could be due to the recent hot weather.
Sainsbury’s in Southwick
The supermarket on Riverside Road appeared to be the most affected out of the three that we visited on Thursday morning.
There did not appear to be a lack of meat however dry foods such as rice and pasta were slightly depleted.
The common theme of a lack of bottled water continued with Sainbury’s and some stock of frozen products also seemed to be low.