UK needs to move away from ‘crude’ lockdown, says bonking boff whose 500k death warning put us in lockdown


BRITAIN needs to move away from a “crude” lockdown Professor Neil Ferguson warned after he broke the rules to visit his lover.

The Government brought in drastic restrictions sentencing the country to their homes after Professor Ferguson’s bombshell modelling showed 500,000 people could die from coronavirus.

Professor Neil Ferguson resigned from his government advisory position after breaking lockdown rules
Neil Ferguson told the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee the UK needed to move away from crude lockdown policies

Professor Ferguson, who sat on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies at the time the lockdown was brought in, told the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee the country needed to move to a more nuanced approach.

He said: “Lockdowns are very crude policies and what we’d like to do is have a much more targeted approach with less economic impact.”

Professor Ferguson’s modelling was one of the key triggers for Boris Johnson to bring in lockdown, but the scientist was at the centre of a scandal after he broke lockdown to visit his married lover.

The former Government scientist met with married Antonia Staats, 38, twice during the lockdown – despite leading the government advice to put the country into quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus.

He resigned from Sage after the details of his secret romp during the shutdown emerged.

He told the Lords experts had been following the approach which Sweden has followed, where social distancing was brought in but the country avoided a lockdown, very closely.

He said: “(The Sweden approach) is interesting, there has been significant social distancing in Sweden.

“Our best estimate the approach (in Sweden) has led to a change to the R number (the average number of people one sick person infects) in Sweden down to at least 1.”

He added: “It’s clear that when you look at (Sweden’s) mortality, they are not seeing the rate of decline most European countries are seeing.

“But nevertheless it is interesting that adopting a policy which is short of a full lockdown… they’ve gone quite a long way to (achieving) the same effect.”

The Government has said the R number is crucial to releasing the country from the lockdown.

In the UK, the estimate of the R number is around 0.7 to 0.9 only after the 2 month long lockdown.

Epidemiologist at the University of Warwick Professor Matt Keeling told the Committee the lockdown had been absolutely necessary to bringing new infections down and saving lives.

He said: “All our modelling suggests the lockdown had a major impact on the growth of the epidemic.”

The Government is trying to move towards a more targeted approach by bringing in the contact tracing system which would allow them to bring in local lockdowns to curb new outbreaks rather than nation-wide restrictions.




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