'Pingdemic': Here's how many people in Sunderland have been ordered to self-isolate in latest 14-day figures
Almost 10,000 people in Sunderland were ordered to self-isolate after being ‘pinged’ because they have come into contact with someone with Covid-19, new figures for the latest 14-day period reveal.
On Wearside during the seven days up to Wednesday, July 7, 5,164 people were notified they had been in ‘close contact’ with someone with the virus via the NHS Covid app.
The week after, ending on Wednesday, July 14, that was down by 512 people, or 9.9%, to 4,652.
That placed the city in 22nd place out of all councils across England and Wales for the highest level of cases, while its national rank for the weekly increase in pings, so the biggest rise in close contact alerts, stood at 322 out of all the authorities.
The total number of alerts since September stands at 26,980, with the percentage of all those which happened in the latest week available amouting to 17% of that number.
It comes as a record number of people across England and Wales were told to isolate by the app when more than 600,000 alerts were sent to users in a week as retailers warned of disruption.
Warnings of staffing shortages mounted as NHS figures showed 618,903 alerts were sent to users of the coronavirus app in England and Wales in the week to July 14.
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the Government risks “losing social consent” for isolation if it does not immediately bring forward the relaxation of quarantine rules for the fully vaccinated.
Mr Hunt, who chairs the Health and Social Care Committee, urged ministers to bring forward the scheduled end of isolation for all fully vaccinated contacts who test negative from Monday, August 16.
The Conservative MP warned in the Commons that without scrapping that requirement and replacing it with testing “we risk losing social consent for this very, very important weapon against the virus”.
Confederation of British Industry director general Tony Danker echoed the call, saying the Government must end its “awkward compromise”.
A lorry driver shortage has also put increased pressure on the country’s grocery supply chain and empty shelves were witnessed in some supermarkets across the country.