Professor Neil Ferguson who was know as “Professor lockdown” has revealed that the UK has been hit more heavily with coronavirus than scientists previously thought.
The epidemiologist said that genetic data shows the spread of the virus arrived earlier due to people arriving in the UK from Spain and Italy, which led to a higher death toll.
Professor Ferguson the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, “We had been worrying about import of infections from China… other Asian countries, maybe the US.
“But it’s clear that before we were even in a position to measure it, before surveillance systems were set up, there were many hundreds if not thousands of infected individuals who came into the country in late February and early March from Spain and Italy.
“The epidemic was further ahead than we anticipated.
“That’s one of the reasons we have, if not the largest, one of the largest epidemics in Europe.”
The epidemiologist of Imperial College London said that Sweden followed a similar science to the UK, but they never implemented a full lockdown.
He said, “When you look at their mortality, they are not seeing the rate of decline most European countries are seeing.
“Lockdown is a very crude policy and what we’d like to do is have a much more targeted approach that does not have the same economic impacts.”
Speaking of care home’s, he told the committee, “The infections in care homes and hospitals spill back into the community, more commonly from the people who work in those institutions.”
Professor Matt Keeling, of the University of Warwick, told the committee, “Really I think Italy was the big eye-opener, that we realised that we could have a large potential outbreak in the UK.”
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