Is the UK moving too slow to tackle COVID-19 outbreak?
UK may be moving too slowly to tackle COVID-19 outbreak...
On Saturday, a government adviser said that Britain could be moving too slowly to tackle the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases because of a lag between case numbers and deaths which means fatalities have remained relatively low.
Graham Medley, a professor of infectious disease modelling, said he worried the country could end up in a position it had tried to avoid.
“My concern is the lag, is the fact that we end up in a position that we didn’t intend to, either government or the population …, because the numbers of deaths at the moment look very low, even though, as scientists, we say look infections are increasing,” he told BBC Radio.
“And unfortunately, that lag means that we don’t act soon enough,” Medley, who attends the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which advises government, said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed tougher restrictions in the last week to try to curb the spread of the virus, telling people to work from home if they can and ordering pubs and restaurants to close earlier.
Many politicians have questioned whether those measures go far enough, with the first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, telling households they also cannot mix indoors. Medley said SAGE had not discussed what impact the policy of closing hospitality services earlier would have on infection rates.
Britain already has the highest death toll in Europe from COVID-19, at 41,936. While around 900 people died a day at the April peak of the pandemic, current death rates are around 30.
The Office for National Statistics said on Friday new cases in England had shot up to around 9,600 per day in the week to Sept. 19, up from around 6,000 the previous week.
Medley said that meant deaths would rise in three to four weeks to around 100 deaths a day. “And the things that we do now will not stop 100 people dying a day, but they will stop that progressing much higher,” he said.
Reported by Kate Holton
- FTSE 100 claws back some losses but sell-off hits crypto wallets with bitcoin dropping below $30,000Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, takes us through the recent market fluctuations
- Fujitsu helps to clean up space with first-of-its-kind mission optimiserLess than a year on from the UK Space Agency committing £1 million in funding to combat space debris, Fujitsu UK has successfully combined quantum-inspired computing and Artificial Intelligence to support the transformation of space debris removal.
- A new era of tradingAhmed Khawanky of INGOT Brokers explains how, amid the uncertainty of Covid, online trading is providing a valuable alternative income stream
- How Wi-Fi is delivering positive, global socioeconomic impactWi-Fi® remains crucial for almost every aspect of our daily lives – connecting with family, colleagues, teachers, friends and doctors, explains Kevin Robinson, SVP of Marketing at Wi-Fi Alliance
- Weavr raises a further £7m to power any digital application with financial servicesHeadline joins Anthemis, Seedcamp and QED Investors as they double down on their investment to accelerate rollout