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COVID-19: what are the options for the UK? Recommendations for government based on an open and transparent examination of the scientific evidence

On 4 May 2020, a 13-strong committee convened by former UK government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King discussed some aspects of the science behind the UK strategy in a two and a half hour meeting. Leading experts in public health, epidemiology, primary care, virology, mathematical modelling, and social and health policy, raised ideas and issues for consideration which are shared in this report.

The report does not aim to critique such work. Rather, it recognises that such solutions will take time and will still require an appropriate public health infrastructure to maximise their benefit. This is the focus of this first report and the meeting aimed to offer some constructive ideas to the governments of the UK and the devolved nations about how best to tackle this crisis, to save lives, suppress the coronavirus and get the economy moving again.


  • Sir David Anthony King, Former Chief Scientific Adviser, UK, chair for Centre of Climate Repair at Cambridge & Senior Strategy Adviser to the President of Rwanda
  • Professor Anthony Costello, University College London
  • Professor Karl Friston FRS, FMedSci FRSB, University College London
  • Professor Kamlesh Khunti FMedSci, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine, University of Leicester
  • Professor Martin McKee CBE FMedSci MAE, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Professor Susan Michie FAcSS FMedSci, University College London
  • Professor Christina Pagel, University College London
  • Dr Zubaida Haque FRSA, Deputy Director Runnymede Trust.
  • Professor Deenan Pillay, Professor of Virology, University College London
  • Dr Alison Pittard, Dean Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine
  • Professor Allyson Pollock, University of Newcastle
  • Professor Gabriel Scally, President of Epidemiology & Public Health section, Royal Society of Medicine

Additional contributions from:

  • Professor Elias Mossialos
  • Dr Rosalyn Moran

Publication link

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