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expert reaction to latest UK numbers for COVID cases and deaths, including deaths reaching 5000

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have announced the latest figures for cases (51,608) of and deaths (5,373) from COVID-19 in the UK.


Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, Chair, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge, said:

“We should be very cautious about being reassured by this apparent fall in reported deaths: the weekend seems to influence reporting, and last Monday also saw a surprisingly low count.”


Prof James Naismith FRS FMedSci, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute & Professor of Structural Biology at Oxford University, said:

Five thousand deaths is a tragic milestone. The experience of the last ten days has shown that the daily number of deaths are highly volatile and one day on its own gives no insight into our progress. As social distancing takes effect, we will see a reduction in the rise of new cases and hospital admissions. Once the number of new cases and hospital admissions begins to fall in the UK as it has everywhere else these measures have been implemented, we will have reached the end of the beginning. The next phase will be every bit as important and whatever action we take will also need broad support. In a very short time, we have all learned a huge amount from what has happened here and across the world, our next steps must reflect the most up to date knowledge. I urge the government to continue to seek and to openly share the expert advice across medicine, science, social science and economics.”


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