Professional body for IT says Government policy has caused ‘pingdemic’

By Ben Carey on 23 July, 2021

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT has said that incoherent Government policy is behind the ‘pingdemic’, rather than problems with the NHS Covid-19 app.

Record numbers of workers across the country have been told via the app to isolate, following contact with someone with the virus.

Various organisations are reporting significant challenges due to the volume of staff absences, with supermarkets being in short supply of some products and petrol stations running out of fuel.

BCS, based in Swindon, says that it is not right to blame the app for the current crisis and that a better solution would be to rethink and clarify Government policy.

Dr Philip Scott, Chair of the Health and Care Executive at BCS, said, “I don’t think the problem is the app, it is incoherent Government policy. By removing all restrictions, it is blindingly obvious there will be more contacts and hence more pings.

“Isolation exceptions for fully vaccinated people who test negative, whether healthcare staff or other groups for economic reasons, does seem fairly pragmatic. Anecdotally, app usage is becoming very patchy now so lots of pings will never get triggered.”

BCS is the UK’s Chartered Institute for IT. It brings together industry, academics, practitioners and Government to advance and promote the education and practice of computing for the benefit of the public.