‘Pingemic’ grips Britain as fears of food shortages grow

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Kwasi Kwarteng who is the British business secretary was concerned by a so-called ‘pingdemic in which hundreds of thousands of workers.

A government app told them to isolate as fears grew of food and fuel shortages, they all were very concerned about the situation, ”Kwarteng said reports of empty supermarket shelves in some areas. They are trying their best to monitor the situation.

British 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 so-called “pingdemic” in which people have been told by the app to isolate for 10 days.

The drastic reduction in staffing that has resulted has sown chaos through sectors as diverse as food supplies, haulage, supermarkets, hospitality, manufacturing and media. To avoid chaos, many have simply deleted the app from their phones.

British ministers say the app plays an important role in countering the spread of the virus and has allowed some workers in critical roles to carry on working as coronavirus infections surge again, with more than 44,000 recorded on Wednesday.

Many businesses said the situation was becoming grave.

Britain’s food supply chains are “right on the edge of failing” as absence related to Covid-19 has aggravated a critical shortage of labour, a meat industry body said on Wednesday.

Supermarket group Iceland said it has closed a number of stores due to staff shortages.

“We have a structural issue with HGV drivers for a variety of different reasons, but of course the pingdemic has made it even worse,” Managing Director Richard Walker told ITV. “We are starting to see some availability issues.”

Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at industry lobby group, the British Retail Consortium, said the government needed to act swiftly.

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