The UK needs a sustainable strategy for COVID-19

Deepti Gurdasani, Laura Bear, Debby Bogaert, Rochelle A. Burgess, Reinhard Busse, Roberto Cacciola, Yves Charpak, Tim Colbourn, John Drury, Karl Friston, Valentino Gallo, Lynn Goldman, Trish Greenhalgh, Zoe Hyde, Krutika Kuppalli, Maimuna Majumder, Jose M. Martin-Moreno, Martin McKee, Susan Michie, Elias MossialosAli Nouri, Christina Pagel, Dominic Pimenta, Saskia Popescu, Viola Priesemann, Angela L. Rasmussen, Stephen Reicher, Walter Ricciardi, Ken Rice, Joshua Silver, Tara C. Smith, Clare Wenham, Robert West, Gavin Yarney, Kit Yates, Hisham Ziauddeen

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

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The UK is well into the second wave of COVID-19, with 60 051 lives lost to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection to date, according to provisional data from the Office for National Statistics. Official UK Government data show that cases have been rising exponentially since late August, 2020, with increases across all regions in England in recent weeks.
As of Nov 4, 2020, the UK had 25 177 confirmed daily cases. These are almost certainly underestimates as between Oct 17 and Oct 23, 2020, England alone had 52 000 estimated daily cases.
Estimates of the effective reproduction number in England vary between 1.1 and 1.6.
Daily deaths have doubled every fortnight since early September, 2020, with 2067 deaths from COVID-19 in the past week and around 12 000 deaths more are likely in the next month—the majority among people who have already been infected. With 12 000 patients currently in hospital with COVID-19, health services are close to capacity in many regions. We are seeing more than 1400 daily hospital admissions in England, a single doubling period away from the peak of 3000 daily admissions that occurred in April, 2020, which could be reached within 2–3 weeks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1800-1801
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number10265
Early online date9 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2020


  • Public Health
  • COVID 19
  • Strategy


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