parliamentary select committee on science and technology as part of an
inquiry into the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
He said that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and
ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him “reasonably
confident” the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the
epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are
now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower.
His comments come as a team at the University of Oxford released
provisional findings of a different model that they say shows that up to
half the UK population could already have been infected. The model is
based on different assumptions to those of Ferguson and others involved
in advising the UK government.
Most importantly, it assumes that most people who contract the virus
don’t show symptoms and that very few need to go to hospital. “I don’t
think that’s consistent with the observed data,” Ferguson told the