British scientist leading coronavirus fight says forecasts for 400,000 UK deaths are ‘not absurd’ amid rising panic #nCoV2019 #COVID19 #coronavirus #uk #wuhan #china #emergency #epidemic

Coronavirus Alert

The British scientist leading the fight against coronavirus said forecasts of 400,00 UK deaths are ‘not absurd’ amid rising panic.

Scientist Professor Neil Ferguson, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, spoke today about NHS research that indicates 60 per cent of Britons could ‘potentially’ be affected by the virus, formally known as COVID-19.

In a televised interview, Prof Ferguson referred to current research which estimates one per cent of the population could die from the illness.

One per cent of the UK population is 400,000 people this relates to.

This number is ‘not absurd’, according to Prof Ferguson.

Prof Ferguson said: ‘Potentially. Given we know a lot about how these viruses are spread we have lots of data from past epidemics.

‘Given how transmissible this virus appears to be and that fact that at least all adults can be infected, we have much less data in children, then 60 percent is a reasonable figure.

‘Within the first 12 months or so. What we don’t know at the moment is if everybody infected. What proportion might die and what are the risk groups? Our best estimates at the moment is that maybe 1 per cent of people who get infected might die.’

One per cent of the UK population is 400,000 people. Choosing not to rely on the mathematics, the professor said it would be unwise to throw numbers around at present, but added that it wasn’t ‘absurd’.

‘I would much prefer to be accused of overreacting than under reacting,’ he told a Channel 4 documentary on the virus.

‘This virus is the one which probably concerns me the most out of everything I’ve worked on.’

Courtesy of

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