Professor Neil Ferguson told the Science and Technology Committee that the UK peak from coronavirus will happen in two or three weeks time as the UK is on lockdown.
The lockdown enforced by the government could prevent the outbreak from becoming a growing epidemic, to one that will decline.
He told the committee that one in ten Londoners “at the outside” could already be infected, he said the level of infection will vary around the UK.
He said, “It’s possible that up to five – at the outside ten per cent of the London population will have…some form of infection in that time.”
With the population of 9m in London some 900,000 Londoners could get come sort of infection from coronavirus, most cases will be mild, the Professor said.
Professor Ferguson who is a director of MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London, said there is still uncertainty over coronavirus.
He said that hospital’s intensive care unit’s (ICU) demand will “peak in approximately two to three weeks and then decline thereafter” should the lockdown work.
The NHS should be able to cope if people across the UK listen to the governments advice on social distancing and stay at home to prevent the spread.
Professor Ferguson said, “There will be some areas that are extremely stressed but we are reasonably confident, which is all we can be at the current time, that at the national level we will be within capacity.
“There will be some resurgence of transmission but the hope is that by employing more focused policies to suppress those local outbreaks, we can maintain infection levels at low levels in the country as a whole indefinitely.
“It remains to be seen how we achieve this and how practical it proves to be.”
Professor Ferguson also told the committee that he believes it is possible to have a “vaccine ready” within “six months.”
“But it needs a lot of things to fall in place in order for that to happen, including for the up-scaling to go well, for the trials to be conducted in a way that allows us to demonstrate that there is efficacy.”
The Department of Health said late on Wednesday evening, “As of 9am on 25 March, a total of 97,019 have been tested: 87,490 negative.” The UK now has 9,529 confirmed cases of coronavirus, up by 1,542 in 24 hours, compared to 8,077 people the day before.