The number of people with coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to rise across the UK, with around one in 75 people in England infected, new figures have suggested. It comes as elements of the media continue to blame staff absences on the so-called ‘pingdemic’.
It's not a pingdemic, it's a pandemic, and they're not isolating because of the app, they're isolating because of Covid. pic.twitter.com/JZXOtvsTpE
— Danny Wallace (@dannywallace) July 21, 2021
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that nearly three-quarters of a million people in private households in England are likely to have had coronavirus in the week to 17 July. The estimate of the number testing positive – 741,700 – is the equivalent of around one in 75 people, up from one in 95 in the previous week, and is the highest number since the week to 30 January.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, around one in 80 people are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to 17 July – up from one in 90 in the previous week and the highest level since the ONS began recording there last October.
For Wales, the latest estimate is one in 210 people, up from one in 360 in the previous week and the highest level since the week to 19 February.
In Northern Ireland the latest estimate is one in 170 people, up from one in 290 and the highest since the week to 12 February.
The ONS data is based on 529,983 tests gathered from across the UK over the last six weeks and includes people without symptoms.
Commentators and doctors have criticised the media for using the phrase ‘pingdemic’. The implication is that workers are being forced to stay off work due to an overactive NHS app as opposed to rising infections:
Please can Health journalists stop calling it a ‘pingdemic’? You’re propagating political rhetoric.
— Dr Julia Grace Patterson💙 (@JujuliaGrace) July 22, 2021
Can journalists please please please stop talking about the ‘Pingdemic’? The crisis we are facing is not some malfunctioning app. It’s a fucking moron in Number 10 who has let the virus get out of control YET AGAIN.
— Liam Young (@liamyoung) July 22, 2021
This is not a ‘pingdemic’.
This is a highly infectious & dangerous disease being allowed to run rampant through the population.
It’s an astonishingly reckless political choice.
Directly causing ever more hospital admissions, ICU pressures & deaths 😔https://t.co/qSZaBRsvDP
— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) July 22, 2021
Blaming the NHS app for "pingdemic" – what a ridiculous name – when it literally does what it's designed to do – alerting you to a close contact with someone infected with Covid – is beyond absurd.
The problem is not with the app, but with the rising number of new infections. pic.twitter.com/GUJYFEUO5y
— Jakub Krupa (@JakubKrupa) July 21, 2021
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