Top infectious disease expert in the UK has resigned from his post in the government on May 5 after violating the same lockdown rules, that he contributed in imposing. The Telegraph has reported that professor Neil Ferguson was visited twice by a woman despite the social distancing rules that he formulated along with other British government officials. Based at Imperial College in London, Ferguson is one of the many people behind the vigorous stay-at-home orders in the country and he was also a significant member of Britain's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) that is coordinating UK’s response to COVID-19 outbreak.
According to reports, Ferguson has given a statement to CNN and confessed making ‘an error in judgement’ that made him take wrong actions. Citing his own fault, the professor has opted to step back from his position in the SAGE. Ferguson has reportedly explained that his decisions were based on the assumption that he is immune after testing positive of coronavirus disease. The professor had completely isolated himself for nearly 14 days after developing symptoms of COVID-19 disease. However, has reportedly said that he ‘deeply regret any undermining’ of the protocols for British citizens to maintain social distancing.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed on May 5 that the COVID-19 disease reproduction rate in the country is now less than one. According to reports, Johnson has also credited the nationwide lockdown for pushing down the R0 (R-nought) number, that indicates how many people are infected on an average by the people who tested positive of coronavirus. Higher R0 number indicates a more drastic spread of the novel virus.
British government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance has reportedly claimed that UK’s R0 lies between 0.6 to 0.9 and ‘probably somewhere between 0.5 and 0.7 ‘ in London. He also noted that the reproduction rate of COVID-19 infections in the country remains uneven. In the daily briefing by the Downing Street, Vallance has said that recording the R0 of the country is ‘really important going forward’ because it shows the number of active infections of a random population survey. Meanwhile, the UK currently has 165,219 total active cases of the novel virus and has recorded 29,427 fatalities, as of May 6.