A prominent Oxford epidemiologist has said the coronavirus pandemic is “on its way out” and has called for a more rapid exit from the lockdown.
Professor Sunetra Gupta said there would be a “strong possibility” pubs and restaurants across the country could reopen without any serious risk from the virus.
The professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford told unherd.com that the government place the country on lockdown base on the worst-case scenario.
Professor Gupta said the government’s defence of the lockdown was it was based on a plausible, “or at least a possible,” worst-case scenario of modelling by Imperial College London.
She said, “The question is, should we act on a possible worst-case scenario, given the costs of lockdown?
“It seems to me that given that the costs of lockdown are mounting, that case is becoming more and more fragile.”
She called for a “rapid exits from lockdown” by using factors such as “who is dying and what is happening to the death rates.”
Professor Gupta said the UK could have perhaps fared better by doing “nothing at all” and concentrating on people who are vulnerable to coronavirus.
She said, “Remaining in a state of lockdown is extremely dangerous from the point of view of the vulnerability of the entire population to new pathogens.
“Effectively we used to live in a state approximating lockdown 100-years ago, and that was what created the conditions for the Spanish Flu to come in and kill 50m people.”
She added that there is a “strong possibility” that the UK can return to normal with no great risk.