A long-awaited report that models the effects of loosening the ban is being pushed back "a few weeks" after Imperial College London scientists behind the paper complained that their work had been "politicized".
The team's modeling is seen as the gold standard by the government, and its decisions throughout the epidemic have been heavily influenced by London's epidemiologists.
However, the group has been embroiled in a series of public controversies in recent weeks that have caused prominent politicians to raise doubts about their competence.
The imperial team was put in the spotlight when its most prominent scientist, Professor Neil Ferguson, violated the blocking rules – which he imposed with great care – in order to have secret trysts with his married lover.
The team's modeling is seen as the gold standard by the government, and its decisions throughout the epidemic have been heavily influenced by London's epidemiologists. It got into the spotlight when Professor Neil Ferguson (pictured) broke the ban rules
Then the group of scientists was accused of using an outdated mathematical model in a March report that predicted that half a million deaths could occur in the UK if a nationwide quarantine were not immediately imposed.
A senior member of the team said the latest report was released to the government, but was withheld from the public for fear of setbacks.
They told the Financial Times that the new report would not be released in a few weeks after it had been peer-reviewed and published in a journal.
Your March report was published as a "form", which means that it was published before it was reviewed by other experts.
They said, "Reviewing exit strategies from the block remains a top priority for the team, and we are currently helping several governments with their planning."
"Given the increasingly politicized nature of the Covid-19 science debate, we have decided to prioritize the submission of these research results for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and to publish them publicly at this time."
A senior member of the team said the latest report was released to the government, but was withheld from the public for fear of setbacks (file image).
Well-known statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter commented on the news, saying "important analyzes should be published as soon as possible".
However, he admitted that there is a fine line between the public transparency of government decisions and ensuring that scientists are not exposed to personal attacks.
This happened after scientists vigorously criticized Prof. Ferguson's modeling, which warned that 500,000 people could die from coronavirus, and prompted Britain to go into the block.
The modeling of the epidemiologist Professor Ferguson from Imperial College London, who left the government's Sage group in early May, was described by other experts as "completely unreliable".
The code that produced the sobering death toll was illegible and therefore raised doubts about its strength, The Telegraph reported. It is also said to be about 13 years old.
Modeling Professor Neil Ferguson's claim that 500,000 British could die from Covid-19 has been criticized by scientists
If other scientists have tried to replicate the results using the same model, they have repeatedly failed to do so.
It is believed that Prof. Ferguson's model single-handedly triggered a dramatic change in the way the government handled the outbreak when they transitioned from herd immunity to a block.
Competing scientific research – the models of which led to very different results – have largely been rejected, they claim.
David Richards, co-founder of UK data technology company WANdisco, said the model was "a buggy mess that looks more like a bowl of angel hair noodles than a fine-tuned piece of programming."
He said: "In our commercial reality, we would fire anyone who develops code like this, and any company that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bankrupt."
A week has passed since Boris Johnson turned to the nation and changed England's coronavirus message from Stay Home to Stay Alert. The government recorded 34,636 deaths.
Measures are eased almost two months after the UK was blocked, with the government deciding, at least in part, on Imperial College London's advice and Prof. Ferguson's model, setting out the possible harm the coronavirus could do to the country.
WHAT DID PROFESSOR FERGUSON'S WORK SAY?
The scientific article published by Professor Ferguson and his colleagues on Imperial College's COVID-19 response team was credited with having convinced the Boris Johnson government to step up their response to the coronavirus.
The paper, published March 17, and titled Effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on reducing COVID19 mortality and health demand, predicted that the government's original plan to "mitigate" the outbreak rather than attempt to stop it could have resulted in a quarter of a million deaths.
Using data from Italy and China, the scientists predicted how different government measures would have different effects on the outbreaks.
If no action had been taken at all against the corona virus, it would have taken 510,000 lives, the team said. Had the government maintained its strategy of "mitigating" the spread – but continuing to slow it down – this number would be cut in half to around 260,000 with limited measures such as home isolation for those with symptoms.
If the strictest possible measures are taken, the number of deaths will fall below 20,000 over a period of two years, the scientists say.
Other points in the Imperial College report entitled Effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on reducing COVID19 mortality and health demand, included:
- Lockdown measures could be brought back if the virus reappears after this epidemic has ended
- The outbreak of the corona virus is worse than anything the world has seen since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918
- Dramatic measures to suppress an outbreak cause "enormous social and economic costs that can themselves have significant effects on health and well-being".
- Viruses are transmitted evenly – a third of the cases are intercepted at home, a third at work or at school, and a third elsewhere in the community
- It is believed that if someone does not get symptoms, people are infectious 12 hours before the onset of symptoms or four days after the onset of the infection
- Patients who experience symptoms are probably 50 percent more contagious than those who do not
- It is believed that after the virus is caught, people develop at least short-term immunity, which means that they cannot catch it again
- Approximately 4.4 percent of patients need hospital care. According to information from China, 30 percent of intensive care patients and 50 percent of intensive care patients have to die
- The average length of hospital stay for a coronavirus patient is 10 days – eight days for those who recover quickly. 16 days for those who need intensive care
On March 17, just a few days before the country was banned, Imperial College London published a study called Blocking to Stop the Virus from Spreading.
University researchers warned 510,000 people could die from the virus if no action is taken.
Had the government adhered to its strategy of "mitigating" the spread – continuing it, but trying to slow it down with limited measures such as isolating people at home – the figure would roughly halve to 260,000 Report .
It was shown that a reduction would not be enough to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed by considering bed capacity.
If measures are taken as strictly as possible – including school closures and mandatory quarantine – the number of deaths will fall below 20,000 over a two-year period, the scientists say.
As a result, the government announced that people should stop traveling, stop making contacts, and work from home.
Critics today described the coding used by Imperial as "completely unreliable".
John Carmack, an American developer who helped refine the code before the paper was published online, said that some parts of the code looked like they had been machine translated from Fortran & # 39;, an old coding language.
After growing pressure, the imperial team released its code that simulates homes, offices, schools, and human movements, and skeptics quickly indicated that he was 13 years old.
In addition, when analyzing the validity of the astonishing death estimates, scientists have claimed that it is almost impossible to reproduce the same results from the same data with the same code as Imperial, The Telegraph reported.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have reportedly found errors when running the model and achieved different results when using different machines, or in some cases even the same machines.
The team reported a "bug" in the system that was fixed – but experts in the field are still amazed at how inadequate it is.
Four experienced model builders previously found the code to be "full of errors," "huge blocks of code – bad practice," and "possibly the worst production code I've ever seen."
Weeks after the model's bleak prediction, Professor Michael Thursfield of Edinburgh University criticized Professor Ferguson's record as "patchy."
He referred to Professor Ferguson's predictions in the early 2000s that up to 136,000 people could die from mad cow disease.
The modeling of the Imperial College team resulted in the culling of 6 million animals and was later criticized by epidemiological experts as being seriously flawed and as a tragedy for the British rural economy.
The team also predicted that 200 million could die from bird flu and another 65,000 from swine flu. The final death toll was hundreds.
Dr. Konstantin Boudnik, vice president of architecture at WANdisco, told The Telegraph: "The facts from the early 2000s are just further confirmation that their modeling approach was essentially flawed."
Professor Ferguson defended Imperial's foot-and-mouth disease and said it would "model in real time" with "limited data." He added: "I think the general conclusions were still valid."
Imperial College London published an article in mid-March on the possible effects of the corona virus. Options were weighed up on how blocking could reduce the demand for hospitals
The actual death toll of COVID-19 far exceeded that predicted by Imperial in the total lockdown scenario (20,000 over two years).
The total number of government fatalities is currently 34,466. With data collecting death certificates, there are more than 39,000.
Imperial College's COVID-19 response team came to their predictions with a series of mathematical calculations.
They examined those most at risk who were classified as "most at risk of death", usually the elderly or those with serious health problems.
England's top statisticians estimate that every day for the past 14 days, 0.27 percent of the population has been infected with COVID-19 – that's around 148,000 people, and certainly between 94,000 and 222,000
The model simulated transport links, population size, health care and social networks to predict the spread of the pandemic.
Professor Ferguson and other Imperial College researchers predicted that these measures would reduce demand for the health care system while protecting the most vulnerable:
At the time of publication of the paper, Professor Ferguson said: “No country in the world has experienced such a large epidemic (250,000 deaths). This is an early extrapolation of an early epidemic that was suppressed in China.
"But we have no reason to believe that if we honestly didn't do anything, this would not happen, and even if we did everything we could to slow the spread, not reverse, we would still have a very large number of Healthcare deaths and deaths are overwhelmed.
Professor Ferguson resigned from his role earlier this month at Sage, the science council that advised the government on a coronavirus pandemic after it was revealed that he had violated the blocking rules he inspired. Antonia Staats (pictured) visited Professor Ferguson in his London apartment while the British were asked to stay at home
“When we presented these estimates, they were initially considered the most sensible worst case.
"However, as information from Italy and other countries has been gathered over the past few weeks, it has become increasingly clear that this is actually not the most sensible worst case scenario – it is the most likely scenario."
He added: "It is likely that such measures – especially large-scale social distancing – will have to be carried out for many months, possibly until a vaccine is available."
While research for triggering a much-needed block was overwhelmingly praised, criticism of Professor Ferguson's research was voiced at the time.
Professor John Ashton, former regional director of public health in north-west England, accused No. 10 of relying on a "small clique" of researchers and not consulting a larger pool of academics.
"These guys are considered demigods," he said in April.
"This is about science, but this research has a kind of religious status, like stone tablets from the mountain."
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