Britain’s death toll from COVID-19 could have been halved if lockdown was introduced a week earlier, a former member of the UK government’s scientific advisory group said on Wednesday.
Britain has an official death toll from confirmed COVID-19 cases of over 40,000, rising to over 50,000 cases when deaths from suspected cases are included.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the lockdown on March 23.
Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson told lawmakers that Britain had taken the right measures against the new coronavirus, but too late.
“The epidemic was doubling every three to four days before lockdown interventions were introduced. So had we introduced lockdown measures a week earlier, we would have then reduced the final death toll by at least a half,” Ferguson said.
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“So whilst I think the measures … were warranted … certainly had we introduced them earlier, we would have seen many fewer deaths.”
4:15Life in London during the pandemic
Life in London during the pandemic