The UK government has used outdated modeling of death scenarios to illustrate the coronavirus crisis and justify a second nationwide lockdown, new research shows.
The data selection was not based on current reality, Carl Heneghan, director of the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said in comments posted Monday.
Death predictions could be four to five times too high, insists Heneghan.
I can’t understand why they used this data when there is a much more up-to-date forecast from Cambridge that they could have accessed that shows something very different.
Government science advisers showed a Cambridge University scenario at a Downing Street press conference on Saturday, and charts suggested England could see 4,000 daily deaths early next month. But the data was based on different models from at least three weeks ago, Heneghan and Daniel Howdon of the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences explained Monday.
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The estimated Cambridge projection for November 1 is 1,000 deaths, experts said.
The most recent research from Cambridge projects 240 daily deaths for the next week, up from around 500 in the second half of November.
According to Heneghan and Howdon, two model estimates presented by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) have already been shown to be invalid. They say those analyzes need to be checked to see if the lower estimates might reflect actual data.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday ordered England to return to a nationwide lockdown from Thursday morning to December 2, and SAGE figures were behind the decision.
“Our scientists’ models suggest that unless we act now, we could see deaths over the winter that are twice or more severe than in the first wave,” Johnson said on Monday. office.
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