Lockdown works. It slowed COVID-19 in UK, says expert. Stay home.



The infection rate of COVID-19 has been increased to 3 from 2.5 (R0) by scientists at the Imperial College London.

“We are revising our central, best estimate of the reproduction number to something on the order of 3 or a little bit above rather than about a 2.5 level,” notes professor Neil Ferguson whose interviews FPMag has featured frequently in coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Proof that lockdown (social distancing) works

Prof. Ferguson sees “more evidence to support the more intensive social distancing measures applied this week [in the United Kingdom], because the higher the reproduction number is, the more intensive the controls need to be to achieve suppression of the epidemic.”

Additionally, says Dr. Ferguson, the rate of growth of the epidemic is “faster than we expected from early data in China,”


by Micheal John


Mitigation strategy scenarios for Great Britain  showing critical care (ICU) bed requirements. The black line shows the unmitigated epidemic. The green line shows a mitigation strategy incorporating closure of schools and universities; orange line shows case isolation; yellow line shows case isolation and household quarantine; and the blue line shows case isolation, home quarantine and social distancing of those aged over 70. The blue shading shows the 3-month period in which these interventions are assumed to remain in place. From Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020

“In the UK, we can see some early signs of slowing in some indicators. Less so in deaths because deaths are lagged by long time from when the measures came into force.

“But we look at the numbers of new hospital admissions today,” notes Professor Ferguson, “for instance, that does seem to be slowing down a little bit now. It’s not yet plateaued as the numbers are increasing each day but the rate of that increase has slowed.

“We see similar patterns in a number of European countries.”

Dr. Neil FergusonPhoto Credit: Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team

The picture and its story: Prof. Neil-Ferguson of the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA) at Imperial College London, has done the foremost modeling projections of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read if you wish, Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020

Dr. Ferguson previously suggested to British parliamentarians that “fatalities would probably be unlikely to exceed about 20,000 with effectively a lockdown, a social distancing strategy.”

Now that Britain has done the lockdown, Ferguson says COVID-19 has been slowed. Watch the video interview: