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Coronavirus: Have UK experts over-egged deaths

The drastic measures taken in the UK to tackle coronavirus have been justified because of the need to save lives.
Modelling by Imperial College London - used to inform government - suggests 500,000 could die if we do nothing.
Even the government's previous strategy to slow the spread was likely to lead to 250,000 deaths, the research showed.
The warnings prompted ministers to announce on Monday the most draconian crackdown on freedom in peacetime with the public told not to go to pubs, clubs or theatres, and to work from home if possible.
The move has hit the economy, putting jobs at risk and prompting schools to be closed and exams cancelled.

No other option - experts

Professor Neil Ferguson, one of the lead academics involved in the modelling, told the BBC's Today Programme this week there was "no option" if 250,000 lives were not to be risked. UK News
Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific adviser, said in an appearance before the Health Select Committee, that the hope was to keep the death toll below 20,000 by suppressing the virus.
That would still be worse than those killed by flu, he said, giving a number of 8,000 per year.
He said limiting deaths to 20,000 would be "horrible" but still represented a "good outcome" given where we are. UK Medical News

Would these people be dying anyway?

The figures for coronavirus are eye-watering. But what is not clear - because the modellers did not map this - is to what extent the deaths would have happened without coronavirus.
Given that the old and frail are the most vulnerable, would these people be dying anyway?
Every year more than 500,000 people die in England and Wales: factor in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the figure tops 600,000. UK Political News
The coronavirus deaths will not be on top of this. Many would be within this "normal" number of expected deaths. In short, they would have died anyway.
It was a point conceded by Sir Patrick at a press conference on Thursday when he said there would be "some overlap" between coronavirus deaths and expected deaths - he just did not know how much of an overlap. UK Distribution Servies

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