The spread appears to be slowing, according to new figures.
After implementing tougher social distancing measures just last week, the epidemic in the UK appears to be slowing down, according to Professor Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London.
Cases in the UK have rapidly increased over the previous weeks, with around 2,000 new cases a day over the past few days and 19,522 total confirmed cases as of 9am on 29 March 2020. However, Professor Neil Ferguson believes the epidemic is now beginning to show signs of slowing down. Speaking to BBC radio, Ferguson said:
“In the UK we can see some early signs of slowing in some indicators – less so deaths because deaths are lagged by a long time from when measures come in force. But if we look at the numbers of new hospital admissions, that does appear to be slowing down a bit now. It has not yet plateaued, so still the numbers can be increasing each day but the rate of that increase has slowed.”
Continuing: “It is quite clear across the country, the epidemic is in different stages in different parts of the country. In central London it could be as many as 3% to 5% of the population has been infected – maybe more in individual hotspots.”
Speaking of the rate of infection, Ferguson told the BBC that he believes only 2%-3% of Brits had been infected, with a third or even 40% not showing any symptoms.
The government implemented more stringent measures last week for the public to follow after projections showed around a quarter of a million people could die in the UK if further action wasn’t taken. The measures include staying at home unless absolutely necessary and only leaving the house for essentials and one hour of exercise each day. All pubs, restaurants and other places that encourage social engagement have been temporarily closed, as well as “non-essential” shops.