Between 3,000 and 107,000 deaths could be avoided by January, according to Graham Medley, who serves on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and Matt Keeling, member of the Pandemic Influenza Science Panel on Modeling.
They told the Financial Times they would publish a joint article on Wednesday modeling the effects of a brief lockdown between October 24 and November 7.
A report released by SAGE on Monday found scientists recommended an immediate breaker lockout three weeks ago to reduce cases of coronavirus.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer later called for a breaker lockout in a televised address, saying it was clear the government was no longer following science.
He warned that “another course is needed” because the government’s coronavirus plan “just isn’t working.”
Cases have increased rapidly across the UK in recent weeks, as Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle called the upward trend in coronavirus-related deaths “worrying”.
The article by Professor Medley and Professor Keeling predicts that a two-week lockdown could prevent between 5,000 and 140,000 hospitalizations by January.
The report, which is subject to peer review, says the short duration could “limit the economic damage” of a foreclosure, at a time when industries such as the hospitality sector are already struggling.
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A brief lockdown, professors say, could give the government time to work on other measures to control the pandemic.
If the scientists focused their report on the October school semester, “the same logic would apply to the Christmas vacation … or the spring semester.”
The government has come under heavy criticism for failing to impose stricter measures like a circuit breaker, choosing instead to implement a three-tier locking system.
SAGE member Professor Cath Noakes posted a cartoon on Twitter that appeared to poke fun at the leaders’ response to the growing number of cases.
Downing Street defended his decision, saying scientists agree that the economic impact and harm of the restrictions must also be considered.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “The government receives advice from a wide range of scientific experts and also economists, but ultimately it is up to ministers to make decisions. “