spaughty wrote:The FT has an article on this behind a paywall, but here is the pre-print behind it.
It suggests that a large part of the UK population may have recovered already from the virus, and have immunity. Perhaps even 50%. That was the FT headline.
I can't comment on the accuracy, although Professor Gupta does appear to do this for a living.
I don't envy those in charge of public policy at the moment.
That paper has been criticised by some well qualified people..... here are two
This paper has not been peer reviewed and rests one one massive assumption unsupported by data, as pointed out to authors by
Really worrying it has had so much traction
Prof Martin McKee, Professor of Public Health
and the cited Tim Coulbourn (also a Professor of Global Health & Epidemiology at UCL)
Thanks Rob, yes looks like no empirical support for the Rho of 0.001 at all. This could be very dangerous given the sensational headlines that "50% could have already have had COVID19: that this work is generating.
See first line of results:..
Those don't really appear to be criticisms of the paper. In particular, it will hardly come as a surprise to the authors that there is no empirical support for that number when the first line of their Results section reads:
"Our overall approach rests on the assumption that only a very small proportion of the population is at risk of hospitalisable illness."
The paper then tries to show that their assumption is consistent with the evidence.
It looks to me more like the criticism is aimed, correctly, at any notion of, "Oh! That's all OK then, we can relax now". But the paper doesn't advocate that, and in the FT Professor Gupta explicitly supported the lockdown. And I certainly never suggested that.
The impression I got was that we know very little about this virus. The number of people who have had contact with the virus could be anywhere from 0.01% of the population (confirmed cases) to 70% (the paper).
As I think Sir Patrick Vallance said a few weeks back, and as this paper says, a test for how many people have been infected and recovered, and how immune they became, would be immensely helpful.