Yorkshire city records most NHS Covid app 'pings' in the country for second week

More people in Leeds were 'pinged' by the NHS Covid app than anywhere else in the country last week, NHS data reveals.

Leeds is a 'pingdemic' hotspot

The figures show that 9,245 close contacts were told to self-isolate after being alerted by the app in the seven days to July 14 - the highest number in England and Wales for the second consecutive week.

The number has dropped slightly from the week ending July 7, when there were 9,245 'pings' in Leeds.

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A record number of people were told to isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app across England and Wales in the seven days to July 14.

Figures suggest 600,000 alerts were sent to users in a week as retailers warned of disruption.

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.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told shoppers not to panic in the face of supermarket shortages and attempted to ease concerns over the “pingdemic” as Covid-19 cases soar.

He said a “very narrow” list of sectors whose workers will be exempt from isolation rules would be published later on Thursday, but Downing Street later suggested it would instead be “examples of the sectors where exemptions could apply”.

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, telling them they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

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 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”.