BBC’s Fiona Bruce rages at Question Time panelist as she interrupts debate

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The Question Time host hit back at the suggestion and explained a peak follows a lockdown, it doesn’t coincide with the peak. Ms Tominey explained there is an argument that Britons wouldn’t have followed the restrictions ahead of March 23. It comes as Boris Johnson announced the UK is past the peak in late April.

Speaking on BBC Question Time, Ms Tominey said: “To be fair the lockdown did come in time for the peak.

“There is an argument to say that if we had lockdown earlier, whether people would have been psychologically ready for it and obeyed it.

“If you see the lockdown coming in on March 23, it was about 10 days later that you see that spike.”

Ms Bruce interjected: “But the peak follows the lockdown.

“The lockdown doesn’t coincide with the peak, the peak follows the lockdown.”

Ms Tominey continued: “The peak does follow the lockdown but there was an argument at the time.

“If you think about it, it was only the week before and rightly or wrongly, there were thousands at Cheltenham.

“Every step of the way the Government has had to look at the psychology of the public on it.”

Her comments come as a prominent Oxford epidemiologist has reportedly called for a more rapid exit from Britain’s lockdown, saying the coronavirus pandemic is “on its way out” of Britain after infecting as much as half the population.

Professor Sunetra Gupta says there would be a “strong possibility” that pubs, nightclubs and restaurants in Britain could reopen without serious risk from COVID-19.

The professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford said the UK had most likely erred on the side of over-reaction in its handling of the crisis, suggesting imposing the lockdown itself was one such misstep.

Prof Gupta told the Government had brought in the lockdown based on the worst-case scenario modelling of the Imperial College London.


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In March, Imperial College’s workings suggested Covid-19 had a deaths-to-cases ratio of as high as 1.4 percent reducing to 0.66 percent when allowing for undiagnosed cases.

Prof Gupta’s Oxford team produced a rival model, also in March, speculating as much as 50 percent of Britain’s population may have already been infected, and suggesting an infection fatality rate as low as 0.1 percent, which she says would be far lower now.

Asked for her updated ratio, Prof Gupta said the epidemic had “largely come and is on its way out in this country” and that the rate would be “definitely less than one in 1000 and probably closer to one in 10,000”, or between 0.1 percent and 0.01 percent.

Prof Gupta said the Government’s defence of the lockdown was that it was based on a plausible, “or at least a possible”, worst case scenario.

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