/Professor Neil Ferguson is right: Dr Hilary Jones on lockdown debate

Professor Neil Ferguson is right: Dr Hilary Jones on lockdown debate

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Professor Neil Ferguson recently claimed that if the UK had gone into lockdown one week earlier, the coronavirus death rate could potentially have been halved and Dr Hilary Jones agrees.

When appearing on Good Morning Britain, the breakfast show regular weighed in on the debate.

Chatting with Susanna Reid, the GP was quizzed over his views on the matter.

He said: ‘What [Sage] could see is a pandemic which was increasing in tempo. They could see what was happening in Italy, and in Iran, and it happened in China.

‘What they already knew, in average one person was infecting three others and every five days the rate was exponentially doubling so that one person within a month was infecting 400 other people.’

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He added: ‘Alarms bells were certainly ringing in some scientists’ minds, and they would have given appropriate advice.’

Professor Neil Ferguson, Science and Technology Committee, 10.06.20 (Picture: Parliament TV)
Dr Hilary Jones agrees with Professor Neil Ferguson (Picture: Parliament TV)

The 66-year-old then looked back on the Cheltenham Festival, seeing thousands of people attend the races just days after Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic.

‘We spoke about the worries of Cheltenham Festival going ahead, rock concerts. That’s on mass gatherings on individual bases,’ the expert explained.

‘I’m sure Professor Neil Ferguson is right with had we had have put lockdown in place earlier we would have saved lives.’

However, Dr Hilary stated this would have been hard to do.

Cheltenham Festival 2020
He noted no one was listening to advise and still attended Cheltenham Festival (Credits: PA)

‘But it would have been difficult to implement those measures at the time, look at the enthusiasm people had to go to Cheltenham,’ he said. ‘They weren’t listening to the advise that was given out from scientists and doctors at the time.

‘No one seemed to take it seriously.’

His words follow Professor Ferguson’s theory that bringing the lockdown measures in earlier would have saved lives.

He told the Science and Technology Committee: ‘The epidemic was doubling every three to four days before lockdown interventions were introduced.

‘So, had we introduced lockdown measures a week earlier, we would have reduced the final death toll by at least a half.’

However, he added that based on what was known about transmission and fatalities at the time, the measures were warranted.

As it stands, more than 41,000 people have died from Covid-19 while there are over 289,000 coronavirus cases confirmed in the UK alone.

Good Morning Britain continues weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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