published by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team on Monday
night, found that the strategy previously being pursued by the
government — dubbed “mitigation” and involving home isolation of suspect
cases and their family members but not including restrictions on wider
society — would “likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and
health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed
many times over”.
The mitigation strategy “focuses on slowing but
not necessarily stopping epidemic spread — reducing peak healthcare
demand while protecting those most at risk of severe disease from
infection”, the report said, reflecting the UK strategy that was
outlined last week by Boris Johnson and the chief scientific adviser
But the approach was found to be unworkable.
“Our most significant conclusion is that mitigation is unlikely to be
feasible without emergency surge capacity limits of the UK and US
healthcare systems being exceeded many times over,” perhaps by as much
as eight times, the report said.
In this scenario, the Imperial College team predicted as many as 250,000 deaths in Britain.
the UK, this conclusion has only been reached in the last few days,”
the report explained, due to new data on likely intensive care unit
demand based on the experience of Italy and Britain so far.
were expecting herd immunity to build. We now realise it’s not possible
to cope with that,” professor Azra Ghani, chair of infectious diseases
epidemiology at Imperial, told journalists at a briefing on Monday
The Torrie’s wanted this.