The death toll from coronavirus in the UK “will reach 100,000 if we lift the lock too early”

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The death toll in the UK could reach 100,000 if the lock is lifted too early, warned a leading scientist.

Government counselor Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London said that even if only young, healthy people returned to work, the risk would be enormous.

If that happens, the death toll could be more than five times the level confirmed by the end of the year, he said.

He comes in as substitute Prime Minister Dominic Raab said the country was “at a delicate and dangerous stage” in his response to Covid-19, and admitted that the government should be careful.

If there is a spike, the UK would be forced into a lockout, said Raab this morning.

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The lock has been in place since March 23

Professor Ferguson said he was surprised at the number of people who remained stranded, but said politicians must be careful what they do next.

The death toll in hospitals across the country currently stands at 20,319.

He told UnHerd, “In practical terms, you would need a very high level of effective armor for this to be a viable strategy.

“If you only achieve 80% protection – and 80% reduction in the risk of infection in these groups – we still expect that you will get more than 100,000 deaths this year from this type of strategy.

“The most vulnerable are also those who need care the most, who need interaction with the health care system the least and who are least able to be truly isolated. “



Social distancing measures seem to be working, said Professor Neil Ferguson
Social distancing measures seem to be working, said Professor Neil Ferguson

He said the lock appeared to be working, with declining infection rates.

In comparison, he said, the death toll and the number of cases are increasing in Sweden, which has not entered detention.

Speaking on the Sky News ridge on Sunday, Prime Minister Raab warned that the next steps must be “assured” because further foreclosure would be “a blow to public confidence”.



Raab says British must get used to ‘new normal’

He added that the government was doing its “homework” before announcing the next phase of the coronavirus response.

“We are at a delicate and dangerous stage and we must make sure that the next stages are well laid out,” said Raab, adding that the government “was doing its homework” behind closed doors on what would happen in the next phase.

“It is not responsible to start speculating on individual measures,” he said, urging the public to stick to the current guidelines of staying at home except for essential travel.

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“We will not only have this binary relaxation of the measures. We will end up moving to a new normal, “he told The BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show.

“We have to take a safe step forward which protects life but also preserves our way of life.

“So we are very focused on the homework that can allow us to do this.”


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He said it was “inconceivable” that schools could reopen without measures in place to stop the spread of the disease, but the ministers sought to ease restrictions on outdoor activities.

“We want to look – when it’s safe, when it’s responsible – for ways to allow more outdoor activities to take place, but again, we need to have proof that this is a step safe – does not allow coronavirus to regain control of the country. “

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