Covid-19: Shops try to ease pingdemic fears and record cases for adults in their 20s

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday evening. We'll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

1. More than 600,000 pinged by NHS Covid-19 app

The number of people who received self-isolation alerts from the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales last week soared to more than 600,000. Some petrol station supplies have been hit, police forces are warning of staffing shortages and some bins are going uncollected in some areas. Advisory notifications - or "pings" - tell close contacts of positive cases to stay home for up to 10 days.

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2. Supermarkets say shortages are not widespread

As the "pingdemic" continues, supermarkets are moving quickly to ease concerns over empty shelves. The Co-op said it was "running low on some products", while Iceland said shops might have to be shut. Sainsbury's said it "might not always" have the exact products people wanted, but downplayed fears of shortages saying the problem was not widespread. Iceland also urged shoppers not to panic buy, saying it was not necessary.

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3. Covid cases at record levels for 20 to 29-year-olds

The proportion of people aged 20 to 29 testing positive for Covid in England has hit record levels, officials say. Public Health England's figures show, in the last week, 1,155 people in their 20s tested positive for every 100,000 in the population. Experts say this is the highest rate of cases in any age group since mass-testing began and urge everyone in this group to get both jabs.

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4. China rejects WHO plan for second phase of virus origin probe

China has rejected the next stage of a World Health Organization (WHO) plan to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The WHO wants to audit laboratories in the area the virus was first identified. It follows the conclusion of a first phase that suggested it was "very unlikely" the virus emerged from a lab - though the theory has endured.

5. Eating disorders: The terrible impact of the pandemic on the young

The number of young people with eating disorders in England ending up in hospital has risen during the pandemic, a BBC investigation finds. Data obtained from NHS Digital showed the number of under-20s admitted over the past year topped 3,200 - nearly 50% higher than in 2019-20. The numbers are so high that hospitals are now warning they are running out of beds to care for these patients.

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And there's more...

Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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