This morning the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee had an oral evidence session with various scientists and advisors about the UK’s response to the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak.
While I imagine the oral transcript will be available pretty soon, here are the main points I took away from the session:
1) No country has an exit strategy from lockdown. other than develop a vaccine.
2) A vaccine will take 12-18 months to be ready to use, if they collapse various stages (normally it’s 5 years).
3) UK developed our own covid19 test because WHO asked us to. Takes 14+ hours to run each test, and will be ramping up to 25,000 per day for patients, plus more for healthcare workers.
4) Peak of UK epidemic in 2-3 weeks. But there was also much discussion of a second wave.
5) Will be home-testing kits for antibody presence (ie to see if you have had it) within days.
6) Boris Johnson working on getting international co-operation with g7 and China: this was mentioned in passing, but it does seem to be a role he is well suited for.
7) Editor of the Lancet thought the evidence for the pandemic was there in late January: Patrick Vallance and Ferguson said seperately that actions were based on data eg from Italy and early UK cases.