Coronavirus in numbers: Graph from Government’s scientific experts show why social distancing is best way to beat the disease
- SAGE believes that Social Distancing will reduce peak infections by 60 percent
- The Government’s scientific experts think that Social Distancing for people over 65 will reduce the death rate from infections by up to 35 percent
- Banning mass gatherings is thought to have ‘very little’ or ‘no’ effect on the spread of the contagion or the death rate from Covid-19 infections
- SAGE speculates that cancelling large public events ‘would have effects on their other behaviours, which could have a larger impact on the epidemic spread’
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Boris Johnson’s scientific experts believe that Social Distancing is the most effective means of beating Covid-19, reducing the potential death rate by up to 25 percent.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which provides ‘timely and coordinated scientific advise to support UK cross-Government decisions’ in Cobra, has suggested the PM impose combined, multiple drastic measures.
SAGE is co-chaired by the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty, part of No 10’s coronavirus taskforce.
The body is convinced that the spread of Covid-19, the illness caused by the Wuhan virus, can be tackled by closing schools, banning mass gatherings, ordering people to work from home, and discouraging all non-essential physical contact.
MailOnline has produced a chart which explains SAGE’s thinking behind the strategy – and how it believes the measures will beat the disease.
Based on information provided by SAGE, the Government’s scientific advisers reckon that banning mass gatherings will have little to no effect in the battle.
However, the experts believe that banning them ‘would have effects on their other behaviours, which could have a larger impact on the epidemic spread’.
Mass school closures are estimated to be around 20 percent effective at reducing the peak outbreak in the UK, with modest reductions in death.
SAGE thinks that home and household isolation when a person or people display Covid-19 symptoms have similar effects as school closures on the spread of the bug.
However, the body believes that Social Distancing – keeping one to two metres from people and preventing all non-essential social contact – is 60 percent effective in reducing the peak viral outbreak in Britain, reducing up to 25 percent of deaths.
While forcing over-65s to follow Social Distancing Orders would have little effect in reducing the contagion, SAGE says the number of deaths would fall by 35 percent.
SAGE has published many of its recommendations on the Government website.
However, it revealed that some of the papers reference are ‘pre-prints’ – ‘academic papers that have not yet been through the peer-review process’.
SAGE also said that ‘some of the bespoke new modelling that SAGE has drawn upon to formulate its conclusions has not yet been published’.