Imperial College expert warns of coronavirus 'uptick'

Imperial College expert warns of coronavirus 'uptick'

Representative Image. Credit: Reuters Photo

The epidemiologist whose modelling heavily influenced the British government to impose a lockdown in March has warned that fresh restrictions may have to be re-imposed in coming weeks to deal with a rise in new coronavirus cases.

Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London said he was “encouraged” that the government is banning social gatherings of more than six people from Monday, noting that “one of the mistakes” in the early days of the pandemic this year was an overly “cautious” approach.

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Still, he told BBC radio that “all the analysis” suggested there would be an “uptick in deaths in the coming weeks, so now is the time to respond.” The UK has seen Europe's deadliest virus outbreak, with around 41,600 deaths. Ferguson added that if the transmission rates don't fall markedly so the epidemic starts shrinking again, then “we may need to clamp down in other areas.”