PREPRINT: How Many Lives Has Lockdown Saved in the UK?

We compare the trajectory of deaths (both in hospitals and care homes) on a daily basis in Sweden and England and Wales (which constitute 90 per cent of the UK population) from 11 March to 12 June 2020, the latest date at which the relevant data is available for England and Wales. Deaths in both Sweden and England and Wales peaked on 8 April. The build up to the peak was very similar in both. Given the time lag between infection and death, the lockdown would have had little effect on the peak number of deaths. By 12 June, the deaths are virtually the same in both. However, from early May the decline in England and Wales has been much sharper. We estimate that to 12 June, lockdown saved just under 6,000 lives in England and Wales, or around 6,500 extrapolating to a UK level.

Writing about COVID-19

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