‘Pingdemic’ takes over Britain as food shortage fears grow – .

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‘Pingdemic’ takes over Britain as food shortage fears grow – .


Britain’s coronavirus cases have risen sharply over the past month, with more than 44,000 recorded on Wednesday

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UK supermarkets, wholesalers and carriers were struggling on Thursday to ensure a stable supply of food and fuel after an official health app asked hundreds of thousands of workers to self-isolate after contact with someone with COVID-19.

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Coronavirus cases in Britain have increased significantly over the past month, with more than 44,000 recorded on Wednesday.

British newspapers carried pictures of empty shelves in supermarkets on the front pages. Reuters reporters said food items were widely available in London stores, although there were shortages of bottled water, soft drinks and some salads and meat products.

“We are very concerned about the situation,” Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky when asked about reports of empty supermarket shelves in some areas. “We are monitoring the situation.

He said he did not recognize Sky’s characterization of “bare” supermarket shelves.

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Britain’s second largest supermarket group Sainsbury’s said customers would generally be able to find the products they want, but perhaps not all brands.

“We’re working hard to make sure customers can find what they need,” a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said.

“While we don’t always have the exact product a customer is looking for in every store, large quantities of product are delivered to stores daily and our colleagues are focused on getting them to shelves as quickly as possible. “

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bet that he could reopen England’s economy because so many people have been vaccinated has been tarnished by the ‘pingemia’ in which the contact tracing app told people to ‘isolate for 10 days.

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The resulting drastic downsizing has wreaked havoc on industries as diverse as food supply, transportation, supermarkets, hospitality, manufacturing and media. To avoid disruption, many simply deleted the app from their phones.

UK ministers say the app plays an important role in tackling the spread of the virus and has allowed some workers in critical positions to continue working.

The country has the seventh highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world, and record new infections are expected after restrictions were lifted on July 19 in England, which Johnson called ‘freedom day’.

But a rapid vaccination program that saw 87% of adults receive one dose of the vaccine and more than 68% two doses appears to have weakened the link between infections and deaths, with daily deaths remaining relatively low.

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ON THE EDGE

Many companies have said the situation is getting serious.

Britain’s food supply chains are “on the verge of failure” as the COVID-19 absence has exacerbated a severe labor shortage, a meat industry body said on Wednesday.

The Iceland supermarket group said it had closed a number of stores due to understaffing.

“We have a structural problem with (a shortage of) truck drivers for a variety of reasons, but of course the pingemia has made it even worse,” General Manager Richard Walker told ITV. “We are starting to see availability issues. “

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at industry lobby group the British Retail Consortium, said the government must act quickly.

“Traders and suppliers, who have played a vital role throughout this pandemic, should be allowed to work on the condition that they are double vaccinated or can present a negative COVID test, to ensure that ‘there is no disruption of the public’s ability to obtain food and other goods. , ” he said.

BP said it had to temporarily shut down a handful of sites due to a lack of fuel, with the shortage of heavy truck drivers being exacerbated by COVID-19 isolations.

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