The work by UCL differs from other models because it reacts quickly to real-time deaths, infections, vaccinations, vaccine effectiveness data, hospital admissions and Google mobility trends, which inform transmission trends and the ‘R’ rate, which it currently estimates to be 1.12.
Despite the ‘R’ being above one, it predicts that deaths will continue to fall to low levels by May 24 and stay there, with no summer spike forecast.
Modellers say their “most likely” scenarios contrast with the SPI-M projections of “reasonable worst-case scenarios” and are more optimistic about the pandemic.
“Generally, the most likely predictions of mitigated responses, i.e. what is likely to happen, are more optimistic than worst-case projections of unmitigated responses – i.e. what could happen,” the researchers said. The team also published the code of their model so that it can be checked.
The Telegraph understands that the Government is unhappy with the pessimistic tone set by models produced by SPI-M, released earlier this week, and has asked other groups to critique the work. The SPI-M summary, presented to Sage, suggested the roadmap out of lockdown was “highly likely” to lead to increased hospital cases and deaths this summer.