Imperial College of London Lowers U.K. Coronavirus Death Estimate from 500,000 to 20,000 or Less

Well, that’s a bit of a change.

Officials at the Imperial College of London have been quoted often over the past two weeks as the trusted sources for estimates of the impact of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and have raised alarms with estimates of 500,000 dead in the U.K. But now researchers at the esteemed institution have updated their models.

Instead of half a million dead, they see 20,000… at most, and probably much lower.

Neil Ferguson, who has been the face of the eye-popping 500,000 dead estimates, now expects that the U.K. has enough medical care capacity to handle the patients who contract the disease.

Ferguson credited the U.K.’s restrictions on people’s movement with the updated forecast, but that doesn’t make sense given that the U.K. just implemented those restrictions two days ago. It seems more likely that, with new data, the Imperial College realized the disease is moving faster than they’d thought, so many more people across the U.K. have already had it and recovered.

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