Coronavirus deaths 'could have been halved if UK entered lockdown week earlier' says Professor

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Professor Neil Ferguson has told MPs that the UK’s death toll is higher than forecast because the infection had spread more widely than they had realised at the time.

Although he stepped down from Sage after the Telegraph revealed he had broken lockdown rules, he continues to work on the model which the Government uses, and his team feeds into official advice.

Prof Lockdown says there was “much heavier seeding” from Spain that had been undetected, and blames the lack of testing.

“We had underestimated how far into the epidemic this country was”, he says.

And half of deaths are in care homes, which he says was preventable if they had been better shielded.

“The [overall] death toll would probably have been about half what it is now,” he says.

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