Excess death tolls appear to be “back to normal” by March, but one expert warns the country must continue to be careful.
Speaking to Times Radio, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter said that Covid deaths will “halve about every two weeks” and will drop to below 200 a day by March.
He added, “It is entirely plausible that by then we will not have excessive deaths, and in other words, deaths would be back to normal for the time of year.”
Sir David said there were fewer deaths from other illnesses in the second wave of the pandemic.
He said this was because some Covid deaths would have happened anyway, social distancing helped prevent the flu from spreading, and many people, such as the elderly, had died earlier in the pandemic, with their deaths from the earlier “preferred” wave.
Sir David said, “I’m concerned that in the next month someone is going to say,” Oh, you see, we don’t have excessive deaths, we are normal, why do we have all these restrictions? “
He added, “I’m just assuming I’m saying no, actually things are not normal. Things are not normal. And we still have to be very careful.”
Sir David also suggested that it take three weeks to assess the impact of any changes to the lockdown.
He said the government was “rightly very cautious” and warned “there is so much uncertainty” about the course of the pandemic.
“Things can change and we’ve found that they can change pretty quickly and that’s pretty worrying,” he said.
He said it might take “three weeks” to “get a feel for what is happening so that any influence can flow through the charts”.
“I like this idea of an adaptive strategy,” he said, adding, “I wish they had done it right at the start to admit the uncertainty that there is so much we don’t know yet and things can be taken.” surprised.”