Does Warwick’s Omicron modelling make restrictions more likely?

Two weeks ago, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Imperial College both published modelling showing frightening scenarios if the government did not react to the Omicron variant by imposing immediate restrictions on our day to day lives. The former suggested that hospitalisations could peak at 7,190 a day in January in its most pessimistic scenario; the latter was reported as suggesting that deaths might peak at 5,000 a day in January. Both figures, however, were made on the assumption that Omicron was every bit as virulent as the Delta variant. Since then, several UK studies have suggested that this is not the case, with data showing

Why Warwick’s Covid modelling doesn’t add up

This week began with more frightening graphs from SPI-M, the government’s scientific modelling committee. A team at Warwick University calculated that, had the 21 June reopening gone ahead, hospitalisations could have peaked at over 3,000 a day in August. By contrast, the first peak in April 2020 saw 3,149 admissions in one day and the second peak in January reached 4,160 on a single day. Yet, like the infamous ‘4,000 deaths a day’ graph presented at the Downing Street press conference last October to justify a second lockdown, it took only a couple of days for questions to be asked about the assumptions behind the scenario. Pessimistic assumptions about the