Lockdown in England doesn't seem to be working, expert says

An expert has warned that research suggests the current national lockdown is not working in England.

Steven Riley, professor of Infectious Disease Dynamics at Imperial College London, said the interim results of the college’s React study show that the prevalence of infections rose between Jan. 6-15.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said, “It’s long enough that if the lockdown had worked effectively, we would certainly have hoped for a decline.”

He said data from previous locks showed a decrease, adding that recent research “certainly doesn’t support the conclusion that locks work”.

But Prof. Riley said there is “overwhelming” evidence that restricting social contact lowers infection.

He warned that if people’s behavior remained the same in England’s current national lockdown, infections could continue to rise.

When asked what he would say to ban naysayers, he told Times Radio, “People who change their physical mix have a direct effect on the way the virus is transmitted.

“The exact point in time when the physical mix will change in relation to lockdown is difficult to pinpoint. However, when we look back on the initial lockdown, we have seen the most dramatic change in people’s behavior that I think we have ever recorded.

“And the observed decline in infections associated with this behavior change is, in my view, scientific evidence that the behavior and transmission that it is associated with is absolutely overwhelming.”

Regarding what he expects in the current lockdown, he said, “We would expect a similar plateau, a very gradual increase (in infections) if behavior remains the same and if our interpretation is correct if what we see is is kind of result of behavior after Christmas. “

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