COVID-19: UCL academics mobilise to provide critical advice and expert comment

As coronavirus spreads around the world, UCL experts are taking a prominent role in advancing public knowledge about the virus by advising world leaders, providing expert comment in the media and urgently researching new ways of tackling COVID-19.


A key strength of the UCL community is its ability to work across disciplines and with colleagues, partners and industry to help address the biggest challenges facing the world today.

UCL researchers are working in the vanguard of helping find cure, improving diagnosis and are advising Government here in the UK and globally. In addition, they are helping to inform public knowledge by providing expert comment on issues as varied as predictions on virus spread, panic buying and stockpiling, broadband provision, and the economic and political impact of the pandemic.

Professor Judith Breuer (UCL Division of Infection & Immunity) is advising the Government on the use of viral genomics to help control the outbreak, and Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) is advising the UK government-convened advisory group, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavioural Science (SPI-B): 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID19).

Professor Rachel McKendry (London Centre for Nanotechnology at UCL and i-sense) and Professor Ingemar Cox (UCL Computer Science) are leading a team developing rapid tests and tracking systems for COVID-19 in collaboration with the World Health Organization, Public Health England and Africa CDC , while Professor Martina Micheletti (UCL Biochemical Engineering) is working with Oxford colleagues to develop a potential vaccine.

Others at UCL are working on monitoring people who have been tested, predicting the outbreak’s future, and developing digital platforms for community-based care.

Here in UCL in the Media, we feature the work of UCL colleagues who are providing critical advice and expert comment to world leaders and the public on COVID-19 and its impact through numerous appearances on TV, radio, print and online news sources:

  • Lockdown easing could lead to rule-bending The easing of lockdown measures could lead to people not fully understanding what they’re allowed to do, or bending rules in advance of dates when easing takes place, warn Dr Daisy Fancourt and Professor Robert West (both UCL Epidemiology & Health). (1 March 2021) Read: Guardian
  • School closures risk ’permanent scarring’ to children Keeping children away from the classroom does "serious harm" not only to their education but also to their mental and physical health, finds research led by Professor Russell Viner (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health). (1 March 2021) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • New vaccine approval ’exciting’ The approval of a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine which can be stored easily is "exciting" and should help with vaccine rollout worldwide, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (1 March 2021) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Weekend’ (from 8 mins 45 secs)
  • Covid-19 infection levels still too high to ignore guidelines People need to obey stay-at-home orders despite the warm weather and vaccination rollout, as Covid-19 infection rates are still far too high to relax, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (1 March 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Midnight News’ (from 7 mins 13 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4 News (from 8 mins) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 11 mins 12 secs) ,  BBC Radio 2 News (from 1 min 18 secs)
  • Herd immunity threshold could be reached by mid-May Modelling by Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) suggests herd immunity to Covid-19 could be reached by mid-May, although Friston stresses that all forecasts must be taken "with a pinch of salt". (26 February 2021) Read: i News
  • Covid could become ’disease of poverty’ if government does not raise sick pay A refusal by the Government to address issues associated with deprivation could lead to Covid-19 becoming a "disease of poverty", as diseases such as TB have been in the past, says Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (26 February 2021) Read: Independent
  • Most Covid-19 mutations ’not of particular concern’ Viruses are constantly mutating, and the majority of Covid-19 mutations aren’t concerning, but "Noticing them early, flagging them, raising concern is useful," says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute). (26 February 2021) Read: Mail Online ,  ,  Independent
  • How can you tell when a patient has long Covid? It can be hard to diagnose long Covid, and sufferers seem to experience a cluster of different symptoms rather than a single issue, explains Professor Nishi Chaturvedi (UCL MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing). (25 February 2021) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Health Check’ (from 9 mins 8 secs)
  • Schools awarding GCSEs and A-levels puts teachers in ’ridiculous’ position The announcement that schools will be awarding GCSEs and A-levels directly puts teachers under pressure as any student who feels they’ve been under-predicted is likely to appeal, which could lead to major grade inflation, says Dr Jake Anders (UCL Institute of Education). (25 February 2021) Read: Times (£)
  • ’People’s Covid Inquiry’ to include UCL academic A group of experts including Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) have formed a ’People’s Covid Inquiry’ to examine the UK response to the Covid-19 pandemic. (25 February 2021) Read: Huffington Post
  • Should the UK roll out vaccine passports? Professor Jonathan Montgomery (UCL Laws) comments on concerns about ’vaccine passports’, such as a lack of strong evidence that vaccinated people will not transmit Covid-19, and possible civil liberties issues. (24 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 5 live ’Your Call’ (from 53 mins 19 secs) ,  Read: Times (£)
  • Lockdown shows that flu season may be avoidable Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) says that, while no one would advocate a return to lockdowns, the reduction of flu deaths this season shows there may be measures, such as hand sanitiser in shops, that could continue to protect the NHS. (24 February 2021) Read: Independent
  • Schools can safely reopen if lockdown is maintained elsewhere School reopening needs to be our highest priority and can be done safely as long as wider restrictions remain in place in march to keep the Covid-19 spread to a minimum, says Professor Russell Viner (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health). (23 February 2021) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Wales Online ,  Express
  • Studies on vaccine effectiveness are ’promising’ While new studies on Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness weren’t large enough to be completely conclusive, they are "very promising and in line with what we hoped for from the trials," says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (23 February 2021) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 3 mins 13 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 16 mins 59 secs)
  • Lockdown easing must be cautious The roadmap out of the Covid-19 lockdown is welcome, but any unlocking must be cautious and entirely dependent on the progressing situation, says Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health). (23 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 39 mins 56 secs)
  • Lockdown roadmap raises expectations A gradual return to normality has been announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but the inclusion of specific dates will raise people’s expectations and make it more difficult to shift the timeframe if needed, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (23 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World Tonight’ (from 17 mins 37 secs)
  • Can ’Covid status certificates’ help the UK return to normal life? Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery (UCL Laws) discusses the proposed "Covid status certificates", a type of vaccine passport, saying they raise problems ranging from privacy to inequalities created by exclusions. (23 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 52 mins 59 secs) ,  Read: Mail Online
  • Prematurely ending lockdown could increase rates of long Covid If people are not adequately protected as the Covid-19 lockdown eases, "we would expect to see higher rates of long Covid," says Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (23 February 2021) Read: Sun
  • New Covid-19 strains possible in US if lockdown not put in place While cases of an older variant could fall rapidly enough that it looks like Covid-19 is fading, a new variant could be growing at the same time if the US doesn’t enact cautionary measures, warns Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (22 February 2021) Read: USA Today
  • How and when to safely lift Covid-19 lockdown Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) and Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) give their views on when the Covid-19 lockdown can be lifted, both stressing the importance of not picking an arbitrary date to lift measures. (19 February 2021) Read: Guardian
  • UCL researchers lead £11m projects to investigate Long Covid Professor Nishi Chaturvedi (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing at UCL) and Professor Sir Terence Stephenson (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) are leading two new studies on Long Covid announced by the UK Government today. (18 February 2021) Read: Metro ,  More: Guardian ,  UCL News
  • Two possible reasons why a Covid-19 variant is more transmissible Research suggests that Covid-19 variants are more transmissible either due to a higher viral load or due to the virus being transmissible for a longer period of time, explains Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (18 February 2021) Read: Independent
  • Heart damage in half of Covid-19 patients with raised protein levels More than 50% of patients hospitalised with Covid-19, who had raised levels of a protein called troponin, have some heart damage, finds a new magnetic resonance imaging study led by Professor Marianna Fontana (UCL Medicine). (18 February 2021) Read: Irish Times ,  More: Mirror ,  Wales Online ,  Herald (Scotland) ,  Wales Online (2) ,  ,  UCL News
  • Could people be infected with two strains of Covid-19? While there doesn’t seem to have been a significant number of Covid-19 cases which have resulted from multiple strains of the virus, it would not be surprising if they started to occur, say Dr Lucy Van Dorp and Professor Francois Balloux (Both UCL Genetics Institute). (17 February 2021) Read: Sun ,  More: New Scientist
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports are ’excellent’ A report on mask wearing during Covid-19 by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is another example of their "evidence-based, cautious, balanced...technical and yet approachable [reports]," says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute). (17 February 2021) Read: Mail Online
  • Covid-19 shielding update is based on more sophisticated system The new Covid-19 shielding list takes national data and calculates risk in a more sophisticated way, incorporating age, illness, and ethnicity, among other factors, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (17 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 17 mins 50 secs) ,  Watch: BBC’s ’Newsnight’ (from 6 mins 39 secs)
  • Covid-19 illustrates why Canada needs more - and better - public banks The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that Canada’s public banks need to be strong, democratic and accountable to tackle issues in the future, argues an article co-written by Dr Thomas Marois (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose). (17 February 2021) Read: Conversation
  • Covid cases must be lower before easing lockdown rules Cases of Covid-19 cannot be allowed to rise again, not just due to the danger from the virus itself, but also due to the impact cases have on hospital capacity and delaying other operations, warns Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (17 February 2021) Read: i News
  • UK hits target for vaccinating most vulnerable - but who should be prioritised next? After those most at risk of dying or becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 have been vaccinated, there are differing views on which groups should be prioritised next, say Dr Vageesh Jain (UCL Institute for Global Health) and Professor Paula Lorgelly (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (16 February 2021) Read: Conversation ,  More: Wales Online ,  UCL News
  • School closures harm children’s health and well-being School closures during Covid-19 lockdowns have led to a marked decrease in children’s health and well-being, finds a review authored by Professor Russell Viner (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health). (16 February 2021) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • How to avoid lockdown eye strain Taking regular breaks from looking at a screen is essential for preventing eye strain during lockdown, as "it gives your eyes a chance to look into the distance and blink," says Mariya Moosajee (UCL Ophthalmology). (16 February 2021) Read: BBC News
  • Rapid detection of new Covid-19 variants is vital Detecting Covid-19 variants of potential concern while they are at a low frequency is vital in reducing their impact and prevalence, says Dr Lucy Van Dorp (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). (16 February 2021) Read: Guardian ,  More: Irish Times
  • The problem with a ’Zero Covid’ approach Eliminating Covid-19 completely would require a huge economic and social cost, and would not be "compatible with the individual rights and freedoms that characterise post-war democracies," says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute). (16 February 2021) Read: BBC News
  • No guarantee UK Covid-19 variant will outcompete variants from abroad Claims that new Covid-19 variants will not spread in the UK due to the existing Kent variant ignore the fact that "there are actually more unknowns than some may think, or the government communication could suggest," says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute). (15 February 2021) Read: Times (£)


  • Reusable masks needed to reduce plastic waste   Mass adoption of reusable face masks is needed to reduce the environmental impact of disposable masks, which have a higher carbon footprint and are very difficult to recycle, says Professor Mark Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering). (15 February 2021)
  • Covid-19 shows we should put policy ahead of cost Our Covid-19 strategy should be based on the principle of determining policy goals first, then doing what is necessary to achieve them, rather than beginning with the idea of potential costs, says Professor James Wilson (UCL Philosophy). (15 February 2021) Read: Guardian
  • Worldwide immunity and more time needed to halt Covid-19 Without worldwide immunity to Covid-19, new strains will be a danger, says Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health), while Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) warns that "there are still more people in hospital than during the first peak." (15 February 2021) Read: Mirror ,  More: Mirror (2) ,  Express ,  Watch: BBC’s ’Newsnight’ (from 9 mins)
  • UK vaccine rollout aimed at equal access The UK’s vaccine rollout programme has worked on the principle of equal access, which contrasts with countries such as Germany, where individuals need to book an appointment, favouring more "tech-savvy" citizens, says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (15 February 2021) Read: FT (£)
  • Covid-19 vaccination programme must reach marginalised people The UK’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout needs to reach excluded and marginalised people such as refugees, asylum seekers and the homeless, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (15 February 2021) Read: Huffington Post
  • The parallels between AIDS and Covid-19 AIDS and Covid-19, while very different diseases, both expose the groups in society which are deemed to deserve rapid protection, and "Covid is a genocide of the clinically vulnerable and disabled by neglect," says PhD candidate Ben Weil (UCL Science & Technology Studies). (12 February 2021) Read: CNN
  • Why we need a People’s Vaccine for Covid-19 The world will not emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic without a People’s Vaccine that can be produced rapidly and made available for all people free of charge, argues an article co-authored by Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation

    & Public Purpose). (12 February 2021) Read: Newsweek
  • UCL medical volunteers at a Covid ICU - photo essay A photo essay documenting the lives of medical volunteers working shifts on ICU during Covid-19 features UCL students Seyi Adeleye and Theo Reback (Both UCL Medical School). (12 February 2021) Read: Guardian
  • Kent Covid-19 variant could ’sweep the world’ Professor Greg Towers (UCL Infection & Immunity) warns that the more transmissible variant of Covid-19 first identified in Kent could become the dominant strain worldwide. (12 February 2021) Read: LBC ,  More: Express
  • Hotel quarantine scheme is too little, too late Introducing a quarantine for arrivals into the UK to prevent new variants entering the country is unlikely to be effective, as the variants in question have already been imported into the UK, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (10 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 2 News (from 1 hour 27 secs)
  • Wider lockdown key to preventing Covid-19 surge if schools reopen Wider restrictions must remain in place if schools reopen in March to keep the epidemic’s R number below 1 in the UK, finds a study led by Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) and Professor Russell Viner (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health). (10 February 2021) Read: BBC News ,  More: Evening Standard ,  UCL News
  • Wearing two facemasks is ’common sense’ but not backed by strong evidence Two face masks are likely to reduce Covid-19 spread, but there is a lack of research into the topic and the increased discomfort may mean people are put off, "fiddle with the mask more, or they don’t wear it properly," says Dr Ben Killingley (UCL Institute for Global Health). (9 February 2021) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Mail Online ,  MSN News
  • How has lockdown affected light pollution? Professor Lucie Green (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) explains how to spot the constellation Orion, as people are being asked to count the stars they can see from their home to measure how levels of light pollution have been affected by lockdown. (8 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 9 mins 35 secs)
  • Hotel quarantine scheme ’misguided’ A scheme to prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants by requiring arrivals into the UK to quarantine in hotels is "misguided", as we should instead be focussing on controlling the spread of the virus more generally, says Professor David Alexander (UCL Risk & Disaster Reduction). (8 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 2 News (from 1 min 20 secs)
  • Are Covid-19 vaccine passports a good idea? Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery (UCL Laws) discusses the idea of Covid-19 vaccine passports, as well as their possible downsides and impact on peoples’ behaviour, a topic which he is currently chairing an expert deliberation on. (8 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 16 mins) ,  More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 8 mins 15 secs)
  • Covid-19 vaccination is cutting cases and death rates The Covid-19 R rate is below 1 and by July, vaccination, natural immunity and social distancing could have produced some form of "herd immunity", finds modelling led by Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology). (5 February 2021) Read: Sun ,  More: i News ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Mirror ,  Star ,  Mail Online ,  Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Sun (2) ,  Telegraph (£) (3) ,  i News (2) ,  i News (3) ,  i News (4) ,  Telegraph (£) (4) ,  Sun (3) ,  Express ,  Telegraph (£) (5) ,  Express (2) ,  Metro
  • Covid-19 pandemic the result of multiple factors Research which claims climate change played a key role in the Covid-19 pandemic is interesting, but viral transmission from animals to humans "is a complex interplay of not only ecological hazard but human exposure and vulnerability," says Professor Kate Jones (UCL Biosciences). (5 February 2021) Read: Independent ,  More: France24 ,  Bangkok Post ,  Telegraph (£) ,  RTÉ (Ireland) ,  Hindustan Times (India)
  • How worrying are Covid-19 mutations? Covid-19 variants must be controlled and prevented from spreading where possible, as although none of the current mutations are vaccine-resistant, further mutations could have an impact on vaccine efficacy, warns Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (5 February 2021) Read: Guardian
  • The impact of reduced social interaction on health Due to Covid-19, many of the daily social interactions people took for granted are no longer possible, and the lack of spontaneity and minor gestures are an issue as they can have a major impact on our wellbeing, says Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (5 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 56 mins 31 secs)
  • Covid-19 restrictions could be loosened significantly by summer The seasonality of Covid-19, coupled with the vaccine rollout, mean that a "significant return to normality," should be possible by the summer, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (4 February 2021) Read: Independent ,  More: Times (£) ,  Times (£) (2) ,  Mirror ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 33 mins)
  • Chinese Covid-19 vaccines could be ’a very useful tool’ A Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccine which has low rates of preventing the disease, but can prevent serious illness, could still be ’a very useful tool’ as preventing serious illness is the top priority, says Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy). (3 February 2021) Watch: BBC News ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newsday’ (from 33 mins 36 secs)
  • Strengthen UK border controls to help contain Covid-19 A co-ordinated approach by the UK to control borders and prevent transmission of Covid-19 variants is necessary to control the spread of the virus, says Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy). (3 February 2021) Read: Express ,  Watch: LBC News
  • Can schools reopen safely in March? Amid concern around the government’s plans to reopen schools in March, Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) comments on the possible effects for children’s health, education and coronavirus transmission in the community. (3 February 2021) Read: BBC News ,  More: Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2)
  • Reducing infection rate vital to minimising Covid-19 variants As scientists come to grips with how the coronavirus continues to mutate, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) says current efforts to contain an outbreak of the South African variant in the UK will likely contain rather than eliminate it. (3 February 2021) Read: Guardian
  • AstraZeneca publishes EU contract amid vaccine row Professor Ronan McCrea (UCL Laws) discusses what the publication of the EU contract means for the vaccine row with AstraZeneca. (3 February 2021) Listen: RTE’s Radio 1 ’Drivetime’ (Ireland)
  • Indonesia’s prioritisation of Covid-19 vaccine to those aged 18-59 years old ’questionable’ The Indonesian government policy to exclude the elderly in the first phase of the free Covid-19 vaccination program could hinder the vaccine’s impact in lowering mortality rates, argues an article co-authored by PhD candidate Fiona Verisqa (UCL Eastman Dental Institute). (2 February 2021) Read: Conversation
  • Socialising in childhood provides foundation for good mental health Lockdown loneliness for children could leave a long legacy, as "keeping relationships with others during this period provides the foundation for good mental health in adulthood," says Professor Eamon McCrory (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (2 February 2021) Read: Mail Online
  • ’Sustainable strategy’ needed to tackle Covid-19 mutations New variants of Covid-19 will continue to pose a risk, and the UK cannot keep borders shut forever, meaning a "sustainable strategy" is needed to deal with future mutations, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (2 February 2021) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Metro ,  Wales Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Times (£) ,  Evening Standard ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Mail Online (5) ,  ,  Mainichi (Japan) ,  Mirror ,  Evening Standard (2)
  • The importance of public health Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health) talks about her work on HIV and AIDS, her involvement in Flu Watch, a community survey which ran during the swine flu pandemic, and why it’s important to focus on prevention as well as cure. (2 February 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The Life Scientific’
  • Covid deaths likely to exceed those in first wave Deaths from Covid-19 in the current wave of the pandemic are "likely to far exceed the number seen during the first wave," as it will be more protracted than the first, warns Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology). (1 February 2021) Read: Guardian ,  More: Metro ,  Express
  • Covid-19 pandemic not an unexpected threat The Covid-19 pandemic was predictable, and pandemics are "thousands of times more likely than a volcanic super-eruption or asteroid impact," says Professor Bill McGuire (UCL Earth Sciences). (1 February 2021) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • China’s plan for anal swabs to test for COVID-19 is ’obvious thing to do’ Professor Joanne Santini (UCL Structural & Molecular Biology) comments that the use of anal swabs to test for COVID-19 is not nice, but makes sense based on the evidence available. (1 February 2021) Read: Business Insider
  • Giving forests back to communities could halt the next pandemic Reducing deforestation is key to breaking the chain of disease emergence, and "When humans change the landscape, there are definite changes that could influence a spillover," says PhD candidate Rory Gibb (UCL Biosciences). (1 February 2021) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • How to ensure rapid Covid-19 vaccine rollout Supply of vaccines is only one facet of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, with attitudes towards vaccines and logistical issues in administering vaccines also incredibly important, says Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy). (1 February 2021) Watch: France24
  • Failure to act behind high UK death toll Adding to criticism over the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) says that the UK’s high death toll could have been reduced with tighter lockdowns and border controls early on. (29 January 2021) Read: i News
  • EU lab inspection part of ongoing dispute over vaccine supply Amid a contractual dispute over Covid-19 vaccine supply to the EU, Professor David Taylor (UCL School of Pharmacy) says an EU lab inspection is a tactic used to make a political problem publicly visible and AstraZeneca has done well to supply the world with a vaccine. (29 January 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 11 mins 25 secs)   More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ (from 1 hour 58 mins)
  • Lack of support to prevent addictions during pandemic Professor Val Curran (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Dr Adam Winstock (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comment on the declining use of party drugs such as ecstasy in favour of depressants such as cannabis and ketamine during lockdowns. (29 January 2021) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • People exercising less and watching more TV than in first lockdown Two fifths (40%) of people report exercising less in the current Covid-19 lockdown than in the first, with just 13% saying they exercise more, finds the Covid-19 Social Study, led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (29 January 2021) Read: BBC News ,  More: Sky News ,  Mail Online ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Wales Online ,  Herald (Scotland) ,  Evening Standard ,  Listen: BBC Radio 2 News (from 59 mins 43 secs) ,  UCL News
  • UK entered Covid-19 pandemic ’in a bad state’ The UK’s rising health inequality, slowdown in life expectancy improvements and lack of investment in the public sector before the Covid-19 pandemic meant we entered the crisis "in a bad state," says Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (28 January 2021) Read: BBC News ,  More: Washington Post ,  Evening Standard ,  MSN News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 36 mins)
  • UK travel policy not strict enough UK border restrictions meant to control Covid-19 will be "enough to damage the economy but not nearly enough to be effective against Covid," warns Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (28 January 2021) Read: Guardian
  • The risks of international travel during a pandemic The main risk with international travel during the Covid-19 pandemic is that arrivals may bring different strains of the virus into the country, which could be more infectious or deadly than the dominant variants, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (28 January 2021) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’World Business Report’ (from 8 mins 45 secs) ,  Read: Telegraph (£) ,  Yahoo! News
  • Viruses, vaccines, and Covid-19 Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) discusses Covid-19, including how the virus works, why mutations matter, and methods of controlling its spread, on actor and journalist Ross Kemp’s podcast. (28 January 2021) Watch: The Kempcast
  • Government should have done more to halt Covid-19 The Covid-19 pandemic has been mishandled by the UK Government, and "at every stage there were things we could have done and could still be doing, and we haven’t," says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (27 January 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 2 News (from 19 secs)
  • Novel antiviral drug significantly more potent against SARS-CoV-2 The antiviral drug plitidepsin could be between 10 and 100 times more effective against SARS-CoV-2, including the new UK variant, than remdesivir, finds new preclinical research involving Professor Greg Towers and Dr Clare Jolly (both UCL Infection & Immunity). (27 January 2021) Read: i News ,  More: UCL News
  • People better than expected at complying with Covid-19 lockdown rules The high rates of adherence to Covid-19 lockdown rules this far into the pandemic are surprising, and "Humans have actually been much better at responding as a collective," than expected, says Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (27 January 2021) Read: Mail Online
  • UK must cooperate on global vaccine supply The UK must not hoard large amounts of Covid-19 vaccines, and should instead fund vaccine distribution in lower-income countries to ensure a global Covid-19 vaccine programme, argues an open letter signed by Professor Michael Walls (UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit). (26 January 2021) Read: Guardian
  • Covid-19 risk to children underestimated Because of the low Covid-19 mortality rate in children, it has been assumed that the disease is not harmful to children, which is "not necessarily the case," says Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (26 January 2021) Read: Metro
  • UCL Professor receives vaccine he helped make possible Almost 50 years ago Emeritus Professor Gregory Gregoriadis (UCL School of Pharmacy) discovered that encasing vaccines in fat droplets could help their efficacy, a technique used by the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine which he received this month. (25 January 2021) Read: Independent ,  More: Times (£) ,  Mail Online
  • Tighten lockdown rules instead of blaming public Government Covid-19 messaging assumes people aren’t following the existing rules, but data shows this isn’t the case, and the real issue is that the lockdown is not nearly strict enough, argues Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (25 January 2021) Read: Mirror ,  More: Metro ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  New Scientist ,  New Scientist (2)
  • Reasons why Covid-19 variant could kill more people are uncertain It’s not yet clear why new Covid-19 variants may have a higher lethality, but "there is no new way to deal with it," and we need to adhere to existing measures in order to control its spread, says Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (25 January 2021) Read: Guardian
  • We must learn to live with the coronavirus We are unlikely to ever completely eradicate Covid-19, and will have to ease lockdown restrictions before we push deaths from the virus to zero, argues Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty). (25 January 2021) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • No definite dates for end of Covi

    d-19 restrictions We need to stop thinking of a definite date for the ’end’ of Covid-19 and instead be patient, continue to observe distancing measures and anticipate a slow easing of lockdown measures when it is safe to do so, says Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health). (25 January 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Broadcasting House’ (from 11 mins 38 secs)
  • World Health Organization must help poorer countries deploy vaccines The WHO needs to do more to prepare poorer countries for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, "with tangible support for local structures, mechanisms and systems to be able to deliver vaccines," says Dr Julius Mugwagwa (UCL STEaPP). (22 January 2021) Read: Newsweek
  • Important to maintain trust in Covid-19 vaccinations Reports of Covid-19 infections after receiving the vaccine need cautious interpretation, especially with "extraordinarily high" levels of infection in the country, and trust must be maintained in the vaccination programme, says Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (22 January 2021) Watch: Channel 4 News
  • Test & trace is a "key part of the jigsaw" in fighting Covid-19 Making it financially possible for people with Covid-19 to self-isolate is key to boosting quarantine rates and increasing the effectiveness of test & trace, say Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (22 January 2021) Read: BBC News ,  More: Times (£) ,  Guardian ,  Times (£) (2) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 13 mins)
  • More children admitted to hospital for mental health reasons than physical ailments Social distancing has led to a reduction in the virus transmissions which usually lead to children requiring hospital treatment, with a shift towards more mental health problems among hospitalised children, says Professor Russell Viner (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (20 January 2021) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Covid-19 vaccine must not lead to complacency The optimism and confidence around Covid-19 vaccines may lead to people "becoming more lax in their behaviours, in a way that entirely undermines the benefits of the programme," warns Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (20 January 2021) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 2’s ’Jeremy Vine Show’ (from 15 mins)
  • Covid-19 rates continue to climb Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health) discusses the climbing rates of Covid-19 in the UK, the potential danger of new mutations, and reports from Israel which claim the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine doesn’t give as much protection as initially thought. (20 January 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 31 mins 56 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Jo Whiley Show’ (from 30 mins 24 secs) ,  Read: Independent
  • Lateral flow tests important tool in fighting Covid-19 The use of repeated lateral flow tests could be a game changer as "the current test strategy has failed & there are so many people who don’t know they are actively infectious," says Professor Irene Petersen (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (20 January 2021) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Inside Health’ (from 15 mins 12 secs)
  • Too early to know when Covid-19 lockdown can be eased We don’t yet know what impact vaccinations will have on Covid-19 rates or hospitalisations, meaning that we can’t currently predict when the lockdown measures can be eased, says Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (19 January 2021) Read: Guardian
  • Ending Covid-19 lockdown prematurely could lead to more virus mutations We must look beyond death and vaccination rates when thinking about easing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, as premature easing would give the virus more chances to mutate, warns Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (18 January 2021) Read: Times (£) ,  More: Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) , Watch: Channel 4 News
  • Covid-19 impact extends beyond fatalities A study which looks at the long-term impacts of Covid-19 is important because "Covid is about so much more than death," and many people suffer from long-term effects of the virus, says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (18 January 2021) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Mirror ,  Metro ,  Wales Online
  • Lifting Covid-19 restrictions after vaccinating priority groups ’very dangerous’ Lifting Covid-19 restrictions once priority groups have been vaccinated is dangerous as 75% of patients in critical care are 70 or under, and high levels of circulating virus could lead to vaccine-resistant mutations, argues an open letter signed by UCL academics. (18 January 2021) Read: Times (£)
  • Covid-19 could cause permanent lung damage Lung damage caused by Covid-19 could be permanent, potentially due to "inflammation that’s causing the scarring, but we just don’t know," says Professor John Hurst (UCL Medicine). (18 January 2021) Read: Mail Online
  • Our children are in crisis and need help During Covid-19, young people are suffering from increased poverty and illness, a situation which could be averted by an independent commission, argues an open letter signed by Dr Lee Hudson (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) and Dr Bonamy Oliver (UCL Institute of Education). (18 January 2021) Read: Guardian
  • Will there be enough Covid-19 vaccines? While manufacturing enough Covid-19 vaccines will be a challenge, "It’s an advantage that they’re all using different technologies so they’re not competing for the same reagents and other supplies of materials," says Dr Stephen Morris (UCL Biochemical Engineering). (18 January 2021) Read: Huffington Post
  • The impact of Covid-19 on intensive care wards Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) gives an overview of intensive care wards, warning that the levels of sickness are far in excess of what is normal for this time of year, with a huge psychological strain on hospital workers. (18 January 2021) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’Weekend’ (from 13 mins)
  • New Covid-19 cases may have peaked in UK Despite difficulty in interpreting the data due to fluctuations in testing and sampling, "when you model the underlying incidence and prevalence, then it looks as if new cases [of Covid-19] have now peaked," says Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology). (15 January 2021) Read: Guardian
  • Lockdown has ’split the population in two’ Financial support is needed for those who currently can’t afford to stay home, or Covid-19 will continue to spread, warns Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (15 January 2021) Read: Mail Online
  • Vaccine distribution must prioritise high-incidence regions London and the South-East should be receiving a larger proportion of the Covid-19 vaccine based on their high rates of the virus, but this is not happening as "people are so sensitive about London. You can imagine the outcry," says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (14 January 2021) Read: Evening Standard
  • Covid-19 mortality risk increases by 20% when ICUs are full Patients admitted to very full hospitals have an increased chance of dying which is equivalent to being up to 11 years older, according to a new study co-led by Dr Bilal Mateen (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) and Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (14 January 2021) Read: BBC News ,  More: Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  UCL News
  • Lockdown compliance improving but low take up of Covid tests ’worrying’ Less than half (43%) of people who developed Covid-19 symptoms say they’ve requested a test, but ’Majority’ compliance with the lockdown rules is being reported by 96% of people, finds the Covid-19 Social Study, led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (13 January 2021) Read: Sky News ,  More: Metro ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 15 mins 30 secs) ,  Watch: BBC Breakfast (from 45 mins) ,  UCL News
  • Altering timing of Covid-19 vaccine doses is "a massive experiment" The Covid-19 vaccines currently licensed in Britain require two doses to work properly, and the Government’s decision to alter the timing of these doses is "a massive experiment" which is "potentially putting lives at risk," says Professor Peter Taylor (UCL School of Pharmacy). (12 January 2021) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Healthy gut bacteria could help prevent severe cases of Covid-19 A study suggesting healthy gut bacteria may help prevent severe Covid-19 could be a reason for higher Covid-19 rates in individuals of low socioeconomic status, "who for numerous reasons...have suboptimal gut bacteria," says Professor Graham Rook (UCL Infection & Immunity). (12 January 2021) Read: i News
  • Majority complying with lockdown rules Despite emphasis on people breaking the current Covid-19 lockdown rules, more than 80 per cent of people say they are abiding by them, say Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (12 January 2021) Read: i News
  • Current Covid-19 lockdown rules not stringent enough With a new variant of Covid-19 and the increased transmission rates associated with winter, we need a stricter Covid-19 lockdown to control the virus, argue Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (11 January 2021) Read: Guardian ,  More: i News ,  BBC News ,  Sun ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Mirror ,  Star ,  Express ,  Mail Online ,  Evening Standard ,  Sun (2) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mirror (2) ,  Express (2) ,  Guardian (2) ,  Express (3) ,  Sun (3) ,  Express (3) ,  Evening Standard (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Sun (4) ,  Wales Online ,  FT (£) ,  Independent ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Mirror (3) ,  Mail Online (5) ,  Guardian (3) ,  Mail Online (6) ,  Sun (5) ,  Evening Standard (3) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 36 mins 12 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 2 News (from 19 secs)
  • How will Covid-19 impact the City of London? While the Covid-19 pandemic has led many people to predict the death knell for huge offices like the ones in the City of London, Professor Peter Rees (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) says this is unlikely, and that "The City has always been adapting...its only constant is change." (11 January 2021) Read: Guardian
  • Total lockdown needed to prevent Covid-19 transmission Lockdown rules must be tightened to prevent the spread of Covid-19, with "no nurseries open, no synagogues, no churches, no mosques. We should have compulsory masks, two-metre distancing," argues Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health). (11 January 2021) Read: Mirror ,  More: Sun ,  Mail Online ,  Metro ,  Star ,  Star (2) ,  Sun (2) ,  Express ,  Mail Online (2) ,  ,  The Mainichi (Japan) ,  Sun (3) ,  Sun (4) ,  Sun (5) ,  Watch: BBC One’s ’The Andrew Marr Show’ (from 5 mins 52 secs)
  • Mandatory isolation needed to slow Covid-19 spread With the rules allowing for a lot more mixing than in the March Covid-19 lockdown, mandatory isolation is needed, with empty hotels providing a perfect space, says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (11 January 2021) Read: Mirror ,  More: Sun ,  Star ,  Mirror (2) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 2 News (from 22 secs)
  • Plan now to minimise Covid-19 risk next winter "What happens in autumn will depend on our success in keeping the virus down over the summer," says Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health), adding that we need to analyse how much virus there is in the community and antibody levels in the population. (11 January 2021) Read: Guardian ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 18 mins 55 secs)
  • UK Covid-19 variant was flagged quickly Due to ongoing efforts to track mutations to Covid-19 and assess their impact, the recently discovered UK variant was quickly flagged as a potential cause of concern, says Dr Lucy Van Dorp (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). (11 January 2021) Read: BBC News
  • Algorithm used to set vaccine priority order missed key vulnerable groups The QCovid algorithm used to set the vaccine priority is likely to underestimate Covid-19 risk as people who are suffering from rare illnesses and have been shielding successfully are unlikely to show up in the data, says Professor Jeremy Brown (UCL Medicine). (11 January 2021) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Telegraph (£) (2)
  • Vaccines not Covid-19 ’silver bullet’  The public must be informed that vaccination will not end the Covid-19 pandemic, and that once vaccinated people will need to continue with other measures, say Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (8 January 2021)  Read: i News
  • Covid-19 hospital strain affects all patients  The strain on hospitals caused by Covid-19 affects all patients, and vaccine rollouts must be accompanied by effective testing and tracing to ensure that the virus can be suppressed in the longer term, says Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (8 January 2021)  Read: i News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 37 mins 5 secs)
  • Mass testing needed to find asymptomatic Covid-19 cases  Mass testing is crucial to identify asymptomatic cases of Covid-19, as "We have underestimated the impact of mixing and not knowing you might have the virus," says Professor Irene Petersen (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (8 January 2021)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 39 mins 45 secs)
  • Ensuring the whole world gets a Covid-19 vaccine  In order to permanently suppress Covid-19, vaccines must be administered worldwide, a logistical and financial challenge which urgently needs to be tackled, says Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health). (8 January 2021)  Listen: BBC Radio 2’s ’Jeremy Vine Show’ (from 39 mins 40 secs)
  • Will people abide by tougher Covid-19 restrictions?  When people feel the situation is serious, the vast majority will abide by Covid-19 restrictions, even those which impact massively on their daily lives, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (7 January 2021)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’You and Yours’ (from 12 mins 27 secs)
  • Why Zoom isn’t a replacement for real interaction  Zoom’s face to face set-up is not how you would normally be positioned in a social situation, and also removes subtle cues which we use in conversations, such as breathing and eye contact, says Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (7 January 2021)  Read: Huffington Post
  • Is safe singing possible during Covid-19?  A study led by Professor Laurence Lovat (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) has found that singing while wearing a surgical face mask results in almost no droplets being spread, potentially paving the way for safe communal singing during the Covid-19 pandemic. (7 January 2021)  Watch: BBC News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 30 mins 32 secs)
  • Going outside can help reduce feelings of isolation  Getting outside, even if only to walk around the block, is "one of the best things you can do for your brain and your mood," especially during Covid-19 restrictions, says Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (7 January 2021)  Read: BBC News ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’The Newsroom’ (from 20 mins 56 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 51 mins 36 secs)
  • Hospital pressure due to Covid-19 still rising  Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) warns that "pressure on hospitals and the NHS is yet to peak" due to rising Covid-19 cases. (7 January 2021)  Read: Independent
  • Covid-19 mutation has made virus more transmissible  Increased Covid-19 transmission is due to recent mutations in the virus, but behaviour is still an important way of limiting its spread, says Professor Judith Breuer (UCL Infection & Immunity). (7 January 2021)  Read: BBC News
  • How to decide on the fairest student grades during Covid-19  Due to uneven learning loss throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no fair way to award student grades, but a combination of testing with coursework and moderated teacher judgement would be the fairest possible system, argues Dr Tina Isaacs (UCL Institute of Education). (7 January 2021)  Read: Evening Standard ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 36 mins 38 secs)
  • Reconsider Christmas plans to halt Covid-19 spread  People must think carefully about the risks and consider cancelling their Christmas plans to help halt the spread of Covid-19, says Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health). (7 January 2021)  L

    isten: BBC News (from 1 min 53 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme (from 2 hours 14 mins 20 secs)
  • Covid-19 variant not expected to reduce vaccine efficacy  While the ’South African variant’ of Covid-19 has a mutation which reduces antibody recognition, it is not anticipated that this mutation will be enough for the variant to bypass vaccine protection, says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute). (7 January 2021)  Read: BBC News ,  More: Mail Online ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Newsweek ,  Express ,  Sun ,  Irish Times
  • Delaying second Covid-19 vaccine dose not risk-free  Even with the potential benefits of doing so, there is a "theoretical possibility" that delaying the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine could encourage new mutations in the virus, warns Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (7 January 2021)  Read: Mail Online
  • How we can learn our way out of the pandemic  Randomised trials are needed to ascertain the most effective non-medical measures at slowing the spread of viruses, including wearing face masks, hand washing and social distancing, argues an article co-authored by Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (7 January 2021)  Read: Los Angeles Times ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • Covid-19 hospital admissions continue to rise  The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is rising, with intensive care wards approaching a similar level of crisis to that reached during the peak of the first wave, warns Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine). (7 January 2021)  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 18 mins 6 secs)
  • More understanding of Covid-19 vaccines needed  Vaccines are the most important tool in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic, but more research is needed into how long the immunising effects of the existing vaccines lasts, among other things, says Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health). (7 January 2021)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Six O’Clock News (from 9 mins 54 secs)
  • Virus mutations and Covid-19  Most mutations have little impact on viruses, but occasionally a mutation will positively affect the ability of a virus to survive and reproduce, as in the new faster spreading strain of Covid-19, explains Dr Lucy Van Dorp (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). (7 January 2021)  Read: BBC News ,  More: Business Insider ,  BBC Afrique ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 31 mins 16 secs)
  • A year with Covid-19  A programme looking back over the course of Covid-19’s discovery and spread includes an interview with Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) from the start of the pandemic, in which she explains the virus’ similarity to seasonal flu. (7 January 2021)  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Science in Action’ (from 2 mins)
  • Covid-19 hospital admissions not just due to new virus variant  Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) warns that increased rates of Covid-19 are not just due to a new variant of the virus, but are also caused by people not wearing face masks and improperly washing their hands, both of which aid the spread of the virus. (7 January 2021)  Read: BBC News ,  More: Sun ,  i News ,  Evening Standard ,  Sun (2) ,  Times (£)
  • "Wise to be cautious" about Covid-19 variant  While there are alternatives to the new variant of Covid-19 being inherently more transmissible than the initial strain, it is "wise to be cautious" to limit further transmission, says Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine). (7 January 2021)  Listen: BBC Radio 2’s ’Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ (from 1 hour 58 mins 9 secs)
  • Will people abide by tougher Covid-19 restrictions?  When people feel the situation is serious, the vast majority will abide by Covid-19 restrictions, even those which impact massively on their daily lives, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (7 January 2021)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’You and Yours’ (from 12 mins 27 secs)
  • New national lockdown needed to control Covid-19 spread  The tier system’s mixed results in containing Covid-19 and the more infectious variant mean that a strict national lockdown may be necessary, warn Professor Andrew Hayward, Professor Robert West (both UCL Epidemiology & Health) and Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (7 January 2021)  Read: Sun ,  More: Evening Standard ,  Mail Online ,  Express ,  Mirror ,  Yahoo! News ,  Guardian ,  Metro ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  FT (£) ,  Star ,  BBC News ,  Express (2) ,  i News ,  Guardian (2) ,  Mirror (2) ,  Sun (2) ,  Yahoo! News (3) ,  Sun (3) ,  City A.M. ,  Mirror (3) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Sun (4) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Guardian (3) ,  BBC News (2) ,  ,  India Today ,  Star (2) ,  Mirror (4) ,  Wales Online ,  Yahoo! News (4) ,  Guardian (4) ,  Mail Online (5) ,  Times (£) ,  Mirror (5) ,  Evening Standard (2) ,  Star (3) ,  Mirror (6) ,  Mail Online (6) ,  Express (3) ,  Mirror (7) ,  Huffington Post ,  Washington Post ,  Sun (5) ,  Star (4) ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Wales Online (2) ,  Huffington Post (2) ,  Mail Online (7) ,  Huffington Post (3) ,  Evening Standard (3) ,  Sun (6) ,  RTÉ (Ireland) ,  Times of India ,  Huffington Post (4) ,  Mail Online (8) ,  Evening Standard (4) ,  Evening Standard (5) ,  Times (£) (2) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 41 mins 15 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (2) (from 2 hours 14 mins 35 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 7 mins 30 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’The World Tonight’ (from 15 mins 27 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme (3) (from 1 hour 9 mins 33 secs)
  • Covid-19 lockdown will take time to have an impact  Deaths from Covid-19 will keep increasing in the short term despite new lockdown restrictions, as there is a lag of two to three weeks between measures coming into effect and them having an impact on the number of cases, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (7 January 2021)  Read: Star ,  More: Mail Online ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 32 mins 32 secs)
  • Tier system no longer stopping Covid-19 spread  The tiered approach to Covid-19 restrictions did work to suppress the virus in October and early November, but the stricter tiers now in place don’t seem to be having nearly the same impact, says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (6 January 2021)  Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mirror
  • Loosening Covid-19 restrictions will lead to increase in deaths  Any proposed loosening of Covid-19 restrictions will increase deaths, and many of those who die would have been eligible for the vaccine over the coming weeks, warns Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health). (6 January 2021)  Read: i News ,  More: Mirror ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newsday’ (from 14 mins 15 secs)
  • New Covid-19 variant likely developed in patient with suppressed immune system  The new variant of the Covid-19 virus likely infected a patient with a severely suppressed immune system and evolved rapidly before jumping back to the general population, explains Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute). (6 January 2021)  Read: FT (£)
  • Tougher restrictions needed to halt Covid-19 spread  The speed with which London and the South-east saw an increase in Covid-19 cases shows that tougher restrictions will be needed to halt the spread of the virus, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (6 January 2021)  Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News ,  i News ,  Guardian ,  Times (£)
  • The rise of Covid-19 scientist merchandise  The popularity of merchandise featuring Professor Chris Whitty is unsurprising as "We are always struggling to find something to explain things, so...they have become brand ambassadors," says Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (6 January 2021)  Read: BBC News
  • Social solidarity needs rebuilding Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) warns that with existing inequalities worsening due to the Covid-19 pandemic, "The government needs to think about how to rebuild social solidarity." (18 December 2020) Read: FT (£)
  • Digital equipment and internet access needed for all during Covid-19 pandemic Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) warns that many UK households do not have access to the internet, an issue which needs to be addressed both for quality of life and to mitigate disparities in children’s education during the Covid-19 pandemic. (18 December 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Tier system isn’t working to contain Covid-19 Areas in tier two have seen increases in Covid-19 cases, while tier three is at best holding cases steady, but there are "aren’t any easy answers, just difficult questions," on what form new restrictions would need to take, says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (18 December 2020) Watch: BBC Two’s ’Newsnight’ (from 6 mins 30 secs)
  • Long Covid prevention and treatment ’essential’ The prevalence of long Covid and the risk factors it carries mean it is essential to plan how to prevent and treat it, says Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (17 December 2020) Read: Sun
  • Testing vital to halt Covid-19 spread Up to 500,000 people a day present with coronavirus-like symptoms every winter, with or without a pandemic, meaning getting tested is absolutely vital to ensure minimal Covid-19 spread, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (17 December 2020) Read: Metro
  • Mixed messages on Christmas easing In trying to strike a balance between competing priorities, the UK Government is sending out mixed messages, and the danger is that the lack of clarity may add to people’s stress as they feel it’s up to them to decide, warns Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (17 December 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 32 mins 22 secs)
  • Covid-19 narrative should focus on support, not punishment A supportive approach based around offering more public holidays next Christmas would be more effective at gaining public support for Covid-19 restrictions than emphasising punishments for rule-breaking this year, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (17 December 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 16 mins 45 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ (from 1 hour 26 secs)
  • Should you visit your family this Christmas? Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) warns against visiting family members over Christmas, saying Covid-19 cases are rising and it will be very hard to take adequate precautionary measures to protect vulnerable relatives over the festive period. (17 December 2020) Read: Conversation
  • More data needed on new Covid-19 variant Current knowledge of the new variant of Covid-19 is limited, but there is no data to suggest it is evading immunity in population or behaving differently to the other variants, says Professor Judith Breuer (UCL Infection & Immunity). (16 December 2020) Read: Mail Online
  • Covid-19: UK must ’Build Back Fairer’ warns new Marmot Review A generation of children and young people risk worsening health and having shorter lives post the Covid-19 pandemic, warns Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) in his new landmark report. (15 December 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Times (£) ,  Guardian ,  Independent ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Listen: Times Radio’s ’Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell with Times Radio Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 35 mins 42 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 32 mins 20 secs) ,  LBC’s ’Shelagh Fogarty Show’ (from 1 hour 34 mins 45 secs) ,  Watch: Channel 4 News ,  UCL News
  • Not enough information given on new Covid-19 variant Claims of a new Covid-19 variant by the UK Government without the associated evidence being made available are "frustrating", says Dr Lucy van Dorp (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). (15 December 2020) Read: FT (£) ,  More: Wales Online ,  Sun ,  Express ,  New Scientist
  • Covid-19 cases rise sharply in London Boroughs dense with housing being busier than usual due to people working from home, coupled with a move into tier 2 in December, created conditions which could "supercharge the spread" of Covid-19, explains Professor James Cheshire (UCL Geography). (15 December 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Avoid gatherings over Christmas to prevent Covid-19 spread While Covid-19 restrictions will be relaxed over the Christmas period, the surest way to protect loved ones from contracting the virus is not to see them, warns Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (14 December 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Star ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Sun ,  Sun (2)
  • Some common cold antibodies could work against Covid-19 The s2 subunit, which lets Covid-19 into cells, is sufficiently similar to the same subunit in common cold coronaviruses for some antibodies to work against both, finds research co-authored by Honorary Reader Dr George Kassiotis (UCL Infection & Immunity). (14 December 2020) Read: Mirror
  • Closing ’wet markets’ wouldn’t solve problem of virus transmission People get illnesses from livestock all of the world and wet markets aren’t the only, or even the largest, source of virus transmission, explains Dr David Redding (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). (14 December 2020) Read: Business Insider
  • Having a safe Christmas during the Covid-19 pandemic Mixing with fewer people over Christmas is the safest option to prevent the spread of the virus, and people should think carefully about the best way to protect vulnerable family members says Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health). (14 December 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 18 mins 55 secs)
  • No association between Covid-19 and Guillain-Barré syndrome There is no significant association between Covid-19 and the potentially paralysing and sometimes fatal neurological condition Guillain-Barré syndrome, finds research by Dr Stephen Keddie and Professor Michael Lunn (both UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology). (14 December 2020) Read: i News ,  More: Mail Online ,  National Post (Canada) ,  UCL News
  • Christmas family gatherings risky for older relatives With families facing ’heart breaking’ choices over spending time with elderly relatives at Christmas, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) says there is a big risk for older people mixing with younger relatives who have not self-isolated. (11 December 2020) Read: Metro
  • Men significantly more likely to need intensive care treatment for Covid-19 Men have almost three times the odds of needing intensive care and 40% higher odds of dying from Covid-19 than women, finds research co-senior authored by Dr Claire Deakin (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) and Dr Lizzy Rosser (UCL Division of Medicine). (10 December 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: New York Post ,  UCL News
  • Rise in London Covid cases not just due to increase in testing A rising Covid-19 positivity count in London and an increase in hospital admissions shows that the rising cases in the city are not just due to an increase in numbers being tested, says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (9 December 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Vaccine news not leading to flouting of lockdown restrictions Despite news of the Covid Vaccine, people seem to still be abiding by lockdown rules, an encouraging trend that could be derailed by the easing over Christmas, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (9 December 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 47 mins 20 secs)
  • Christmas plans could lead to a third Covid-19 wave Plans to allow household mixing over Christmas risk increased transmission and pressure on the NHS, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health). (8 December 2020) Read: Express ,  More: New Scientist  
  • Boasting about vaccine approval speed risks vaccine hesitancy "Inappropriate comments about the brilliance of the UK" from government ministers following the Covid-19 vaccine approval risk adding to vaccine hesitancy among the public and are "snatching chaos from the jaws of sanity," warns Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (7 December 2020) Read: Independent
  • Vaccines must not lead to complacency about Covid-19 While the approval of the Pfizer vaccine is good news, it is just one more thing which can help reduce deaths and "it is essential that we don’t fall into complacency," cautions Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (7 December 2020) Read: Wall Street Journal (£) ,  More: The Australian
  • Choosing between the economy and Covid-19 is a false dichotomy There is no way you can h

    ave a thriving economy with confident people when Covid-19 cases are soaring and hospitals are filling up, meaning attempts to prioritise the economy without getting the pandemic under control are futile, argues Professor Andrea Sella (UCL Chemistry). (7 December 2020) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Weekend’ (from 9 mins 30 secs)
  • Transparency is key in increasing vaccine uptake More than gimmickry such as role models taking the vaccine live on TV, a transparent approach to how the vaccine is developed and how it works will be crucial in fostering trust among the general public, says Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (7 December 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 48 mins 53 secs)
  • Secondary school students should be pulled out before term ends Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) says that allowing parents to take their children out of school before terms ends would allow them to isolate before seeing elderly relatives at Christmas. (7 December 2020) Read: Mirror ,  More: Mail Online ,  Star ,  Daily Record (Scotland) ,  Star  (2)
  • Majority feel they comply with Covid-19 rules better than others More than nine in ten (92%) people grade their own compliance with Covid-19 lockdown restrictions as better than what they think the population average is, finds the Covid-19 Social Study, led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (4 December 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: UCL News
  • Vaccine approval not about UK "coming first" The statements which frame the UK approval of the first Cov id-19 vaccine as "the UK coming ’first in some race’" are unwise, and downplay the diligence with which the approvals process works, says Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering). (3 December 2020) Read: i News
  • Redesigning our cities and lives post-pandemic Commenting on the potential of the Covid-19 pandemic to transform our much-loved metropolises into greener, quieter spaces, Dr Manos Chaniotakis (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) says it has forced us to reshape the way we live. (2 December 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Are "vaccine passports" a good idea? With exceptions for medical reasons, vaccine passports for Covid-19 could work in the same way that proof of inoculation against yellow fever or polio is a requirement to enter some countries, says Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction). (1 December 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Guardian ,  Times (£)
  • Debunking Covid-19 vaccine myths Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) debunks the false theories surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine, including spurious claims that it alters DNA or has been rushed to market. (1 December 2020) Read: Huffington Post
  • How to sleep well in a pandemic The Covid-19 pandemic means that some usual rules of good-quality sleep may not apply, for example clutter may make people feel safer and lead to better quality sleep even though the usual advice is to declutter bedrooms, says Dr Dagmara Dimitriou (UCL Institute of Education). (30 November 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Christmas in the time of Covid-19 Mixing with fewer people over Christmas is the safest option to prevent the spread of the virus, and Christmas carollers should keep their distance from front doors, says Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health) in an article on having a Covid-safe Christmas. (30 November 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Concern over risk of Covid-19 moving into wild animals The risk of escaped Danish mink spreading Covid-19 to wild populations is concerning as "it will become extremely difficult to control its further spread" if this were to happen, warns Professor Joanne Santini (UCL Biosciences). (30 November 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Newsweek
  • Why stronger restrictions are needed post-lockdown Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) argues that England needs stronger restrictions following lockdown, as the pre-lockdown restrictions were not sufficient to slow the spread of the virus, and points out that effective suppression of Covid-19 also benefited the economy. (28 November 2020) Watch: BBC2’s ’Newsnight’ (from 16 min 32 secs) ,  More: Channel 4 News
  • The stages of vaccine development Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) explains the different stages of vaccine development, as well as how the Covid-19 vaccine was developed in record-breaking time. (27 November 2020) Read: ITV News ,  Watch: Al Jazeera News
  • What went wrong with the first Covid-19 lockdown Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) warns that the new tier system in the UK must learn from the mistakes of the rush back to normality that followed the initial Covid-19 lockdown to avoid driving the R number back up. (27 November 2020) Watch: Sky News
  • Rich countries must help vaccinate poorer nations against Covid-19 vaccinating everyone is a global responsibility and if rich countries buy up vaccines, leaving Covid-19 to "run rampant" in less well-off parts of the world it will lead to the virus spreading back across borders, says Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy). (27 November 2020) Read: CGTN
  • An ’electrifying’ economist’s guide to the recovery Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) envisions a post-pandemic world that redefines what is valued, as well as looking at how Covid-19 has exposed the fact that today’s capitalism doesn’t work for the majority of the population. (27 November 2020) Read: New York Times
  • Contextualising the worst fall in economic output for 300 years Dr Judy Stephenson (UCL Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management) explains that the economic slump of 1706 and 1709 were due to arctic temperatures across Europe, as well as discussing the parallels with the current drop in output due to Covid-19. (26 November 2020) BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 19 mins 17 secs)
  • SARS-CoV-2 mutations do not appear to increase transmissibility None of the mutations currently documented in the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to increase its transmissibility in humans, according to a study led by Dr Lucy van Dorp and Professor Francois Balloux (both UCL Genetics Institute). (26 November 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: CNN ,  Reuters ,  Telegraph (£) ,  CNBC ,  Independent ,  Forbes ,  New Scientist ,  Yahoo! News ,  NDTV (India) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  ,  Times of India ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Sun (Scotland) ,  UCL News
  • Efforts to normalise pandemic exam grades "foolish" The UK Government’s attempts to normalise the exam grades of students during a worldwide pandemic were foolish as it was "a completely abnormal situation," argues Dr Mary Richardson (UCL Institute of Education). (26 November 2020) Read: Economist
  • ’Drinks on the pavement’: gathering for a Covid-19 Christmas As the government announces plans to ease household mixing restrictions over Christmas, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology and Language Sciences) and Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) comment on how they plan to reduce social contact during the festive season. (25 November 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Coughs and sneezes don’t "get rid of viruses"  The belief that coughing or sneezing is a way of ejecting viruses is conjecture, and "it seems more likely that respiratory viruses... have evolved to make us cough and sneeze to transmit the virus in an effective way," says Professor Greg Towers (UCL Infection & Immunity). (24 November 2020)  Read: Mail Online
  • Mask-wearing in schools must be handled well  Schools would "need to educate, they would need to tell children, they would need to reassure children as to what is going on and why it is happening," with regards to mask-wearing to help prevent Covid spread in schools, says Dr Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (24 November 2020)  Read: BBC News
  • Transparent criteria needed for Covid-19 tier system  Transparency is key in ensuring people follow the Covid-19 lockdown rules, with clear information on why different activities are allowed, as well as why each area is in a specific tier, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (24 November 2020)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World Tonight’ (from 13 mins 48 secs)
  • Should face masks be worn during exercise?  "It would be expected that people should be socially distanced during exercise," and face masks should therefore not be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19, says Dr Ben Killingley (UCL Institute for Global Health). (23 November 2020)  Read: Telegraph (£)
  • London bus ventilation helps reduce Covid-19 spread  Dr Liora Malki-Epshtein (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering), part of a team of UCL experts who advised Transport for London on ventilation in buses, says that ventilation can be "one more layer of protection" in reducing Covid-19 transmission risk. (23 November 2020)  Read: Evening Standard ,  More: UCL News ,  Watch: BBC London News (from 1 min 42 secs)
  • Vaccine rules just as stringent for Covid-19  Professor Judith Breuer (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains the process of vaccine approval, saying the regulations will be just as stringent for a Covid-19 vaccine, with more hours worked to speed the process up, rather than any corners being cut. (23 November 2020)   Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 38 mins)
  • Financial inequalities widen due to Covid-19   Existing financial inequalities within society are widening as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, finds the Covid-19 Social Study, led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (20 November 2020)  Read: Independent ,  More: Yahoo! News ,  UCL News
  • Second Covid-19 lockdown appears to be working   Commenting on England’s second lockdown, Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) says the Covid-19 infection rate’s current decline is due to measures in the north-west and impact in the south-east should be seen in the next few days. (20 November 2020)  Read: Guardian
  • Arthritis drug may help critically ill Covid-19 patients recover faster   Early findings that Arthritis drug tocilizumab may improve the recovery of Covid-19 patients could make it valuable among possible treatments if the results stand up to full analysis, says Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering). (20 November 2020)  Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2) ,  Times (£)
  • How to improve NHS test-and-trace   Commenting on why the NHS’s test-and-trace system is struggling to be effective, Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) says those asked by the app to self-isolate need to be offered more support. (20 November 2020)  Read: BBC News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 5 mins 19 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’News Briefing’ (from 1 min 36 secs) ,  BBC Radio 2’s ’Zoe Ball Breakfast Show’ (from 33 mins 15 secs)
  • Covid-19 vaccine promising immune response in elderly   Commenting on reports that Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine is showing promising immune responses in at-risk age groups, Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) says the vaccine is already in production and may be ready as early as the end of winter. (20 November 2020)  Listen: BBC Radio 2’s ’Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ (from 1 hour 57 minutes)
  • Covid-19 highlights racial inequalities in health   Research into how discrimination affects the health experiences of minority groups shows that living in a racist environment can be harmful to all black people’s health even without direct experience, says Dr Delan Devakumar (UCL Institute of Global Health). (20 November 2020)  Read: Economist (£)
  • "Substantial risks" if mixing allowed at Christmas   Allowing people to mix over Christmas would lead to increased Covid-19 risk, particularly for older people, and it would be "tragic" to throw away gains in suppressing the virus just as a vaccine is on the horizon, argues Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (19 November 2020)  Read: Guardian ,  More: Mirror ,  BBC News ,  Evening Standard ,  Metro ,  Mail Online ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Sun ,  Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Telegraph (£) (3) ,  Wales Online ,  Mirror (2) ,  Mirror (3) ,  Mirror (4) ,  Wales Online (2) ,  Herald (Scotland) ,  Star ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Mirror (5) ,  i News ,  Telegraph (£) (4) ,  Metro (2) ,  Express ,  Evening Standard (2) ,  New Scientist ,  Sun (2) ,  Sun (3) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 32 min 1 sec) ,  More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Jeremy Vine Show’ (from 17 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 2 mins 40 secs)
  • Defining and researching long Covid fatigue   As long Covid is a new phenomenon, it’s not yet known whether it’s similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, or more similar to the fatigue of multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis, says Professor Elizabeth Murray (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (19 November 2020)  Read: Guardian
  • Is mandatory vaccination a moral imperative?   Vaccination is crucial, but measures to improve vaccine access are far more important than making vaccination mandatory, as the social norm in the UK already leads to very high uptake of vaccines, argues Professor Helen Bedford (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (19 November 2020)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Moral Maze’ (from 26 mins 11 secs)
  • Making sure the public abides by Covid-19 restrictions   Public understanding of why measures are put into place and belief that adhering to them will make a difference are crucial in ensuring people obey any restrictions over the Christmas period, explains Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (19 November 2020)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World Tonight’ (from 12 mins 57 secs)
  • Londoners urged to do ’pretend commute’ during Covid-19 lockdown to protect health   A study led by Professor Anna Cox (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) found that a ’pretend commute’, such as a walk or a cycle ride, can separate work from non-work while people work from home during lockdown, as well as building physical activity into their routine. (19 November 2020)  Read: Evening Standard
  • Supply chains are next big Covid-19 vaccine hurdle   Once a Covid-19 vaccine is approved, it will face the logistical challenges of fragile supply chains in some parts of the world, coupled with potential shortages of even basic equipment such as syringes, warns Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy). (18 November 2020)  Watch: Al Jazeera’s ’Inside Story’ (from 8 mins 5 secs)
  • Keeping Christmas presents free of Covid-19 Sending gifts early and quarantining them before Christmas or wiping down packaging when it arrives are both good ways to ensure that parcels are Covid-free, but the chances of infection are "really low", says Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering). (17 November 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mirror ,  Evening Standard ,  i News ,  Daily Record (Scotland)
  • How to tackle Covid-19 vaccine misinformation Some people feel Covid-19 vaccines are being rushed or improperly tested, and it’s important the public is reassured that "there’s a strict regime of how vaccines are trialled and then approved," says Professor Helen Bedford (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (17 November 2020) Read: i News
  • Damage to multiple organs recorded in ’long Covid’ cases Almost 70% of patients who suffer with ’long Covid’ show signs of damage in one or more organs four months after the initial infection, a study involving Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) has found. (16 November 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Mail Online ,  Sun ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Express ,  This is Money ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  MSN News ,  Al Khaleej Today (Saudia Arabia) ,  Al Khaleej Today (Saudi Arabia) (2)   
  • Covid-19 solutions must not widen existing inequalities Technology and treatments which combat Covid-19 must be available for all people who need them, or they may exacerbate existing inequalities, both within the UK and worldwide, argues Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (16 November 2020) Read: Independent ,  More: Yahoo! News ,  MSN News
  • Covid-19 risk for minority ethnic groups "an imprecise proxy" Responding to a study which shows Black and Asian people are at greater risk of Covid-19, Professor Nishi Chaturvedi (UCL MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing) says it’s important to investigate risks in more closely defined populations rather than grouping ethnicities together. (12 November 2020) Re

    ad: Guardian
  • We’re making our own rules this lockdown Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) says she has seen few signs of ’compliance fatigue’ from lockdown restrictions, but that people are likely to improvise when the rules are too complicated or seem unfair. (11 November 2020) Read: The Times (£)
  • Majority have ’long Covid’ symptoms seven weeks after discharge More than two-thirds of patients hospitalised due to Covid-19 continue to suffer from ’long Covid’ symptoms more than seven weeks after being discharged, finds a new study led by Dr Swapna Mandal and Professor John Hurst (both UCL Medicine and the Royal Free London) with UCLH. (11 November 2020)   Read: Sky News ,  More: Mirror ,  FT ,  Metro ,  Yahoo News ,  Daily Telegraph,  Wales Online ,  Mail Online ,  The Independent ,  Forbes ,  Mail Online (2) ,  BBC Science Focus ,  UCL News
  • Covid ’raises new psychiatric disorders risk’ Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) and Honorary Professor David Curtis (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) provide external comment on a study about mental health consequences from Covid-19 and mental illness as a risk factor for the illness. (11 November 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: BBC News ,  Reuters ,  Guardian ,  Metro ,  Mirror ,  CNN ,  Independent
  • Could a Covid vaccine bring back normality? In a feature report highlighting global attempts to combat Covid-19, the FLARE trial led by Professor David Lowe (UCL Institute of Immunity & Transplantation), which aims to see if favipiravir and lopinavir/ritonavir can inhibit viral replication in early infection, is mentioned. (9 November 2020) Read: The Observer
  • Covid pressure on health visitors puts generation of babies at risk A generation of babies born during the Covid-19 pandemic may be at risk because they and their parents are not being fully supported by health visitors, as many health visitors are being deployed found a survey by Dr Gabriella Conti (UCL Economics). (9 November 2020) Read: Guardian
  • GCHQ tackling Russian anti-vaccine propaganda online Commenting on claims that the Government’s chief cyber security body GCHQ is fighting the spread of anti-vaccine propaganda by Russia online, Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Biosciences) says the soviet vaccine, Sputnik V, is "improperly tested". (9 November 2020) Read: Scottish Sun
  • Covid-19 mutations require risk mitigation Mutations in the Covid-19 virus found in minks would not render all potential vaccines ineffective, but shows that surveillance and precautionary risk mitigation are needed to ensure the pandemic can be brought under control, says Professor Joanne Santini (UCL Biosciences). (6 November 2020) Read: Wall Street Journal (£)
  • Women and ethnic minorities have found the pandemic psychologically more challenging Women have found the Covid-19 pandemic more challenging than men psychologically, reporting higher levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness, and lower levels of life satisfaction and happiness, finds research led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (6 November 2020) Read: ITV News ,  More: Mail Online ,  UCL News
  • Covid-19 linked to worse stroke outcomes People who experience strokes while infected with Covid-19 appear to be left with greater disability after the stroke, according to a study led by Dr Richard Perry (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH). (6 November 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  UCL News
  • No alternative to a national lockdown The Covid-19 infection rates within the UK are so high that there is currently no alternative to a national lockdown, but the test & trace system must be improved during the time gained by locking down, says Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (3 November 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 6 mins 45 secs)
  • National lockdown was ’inevitable’ due to rate of Covid-19 spread The total lockdown announced by the government was ’inevitable’ as cases are currently rising too quickly for lesser measures to have the impact needed, says Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (2 November 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Times (£) ,  BBC News ,  Yahoo! News ,  Sun ,  BBC Afrique ,  Mirror
  • Testing capacity less important than actual number of Covid-19 tests Discussing the UK’s testing capacity is "sleight of hand", as it gives a more impressive figure than the amount of tests which are actually being carried out, a far more important figure, argues Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (2 November 2020) Read: Independent
  • Covid-19 polarisation undermines scientific inquiry The politicisation of the Covid-19 debate risks undermining the science, with polarised viewpoints ignoring any science which doesn’t bolster their position, say Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Biosciences) and Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics). (2 November 2020) Read: New Statesman
  • Support for Covid-19 lockdown remains high The public support for the upcoming lockdown remains high, but confidence in the government to do the right thing is low, which may affect adherence to the rules, warns Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (2 November 2020) Listen: Times Radio’s ’Kait Borsay Show’ (from 22 mins 53 secs) ,  More: Times Radio’s ’Jenny Kleeman and Luke Jones with Times Radio Breakfast’ (from 17 mins 2 secs)
  • Month long lockdown ’can work’ The Month long Covid-19 lockdown can work as long as people across society adhere to the rules and do everything they can to avoid contact and potentially spreading the virus, says Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction). (2 November 2020) Listen: Times Radio’s ’Ayesha Hazarika Show’ (from 1 hour 56 mins 25 secs)
  • Why are we facing another national lockdown? With lockdowns an option of last resort, Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains why one is necessary now, saying that it was initially suggested at the end of September and the delay has caused a much higher death rate and more damage to the economy. (2 November 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Mirror ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Sun ,  Evening Standard ,  Mirror (2) ,  Metro ,  Sun (2) ,  Evening Standard (2) ,  New Scientist ,  TES ,  Sun (Scotland) ,  Times of India ,  Sky News ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Huffington Post ,  Huffington Post (2) ,  Listen: Times Radio’s ’Alexis Conran Show’ (from 1 hour 9 mins 6 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 9 mins 15 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 13 mins 45 secs)
  • Minimising human-animal contact cheaper than paying for pandemics Commenting on a report that found reducing human contact with animals would be less costly than absorbing the economic expense of future pandemics, Professor Kate Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says this pandemic has been "pretty mild" considering what’s possible. (30 October 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Yahoo! News ,  BBC News (Indonesia)
  • Covid-19 infection rate doubling every nine days - report As West Yorkshire becomes the latest area to face tighter regional restrictions, Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) says the accelerating infection rate is "the last thing we need" and that it needs not only to come down, but reverse. (30 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio Two’s ’OJ Borg’ (from 2 hours 1 minute and 35 seconds) ,  More: BBC News at Ten (from 16 minutes and 3 seconds)
  • Antiviral drugs trialled in the early stages of Covid-19 Two antiviral drugs are being given to Covid-19 positive adults to establish if they stop the virus replicating, as part of a trial led Dr David Lowe (UCL Institute of Immunity & Transplantation and The Royal Free Hospital). (29 October 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Yahoo! News ,  UCL News
  • More funding for medical research urgently needed A letter signed by Professor Nishi Chaturvedi (UCL MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing) urges the government to fund medical research and help make up the shortfall caused by the 40% cut to research funding provided by UK medical research charities this year due to Covid-19. (28 October 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • New Covid-19 dashboard highlights gaps in data needed to address pandemic A public health data visualisation dashboard for Covid-19, developed by researchers at UCL-led interdisciplinary research collaboration i-sense, has revealed issues regarding the quality, consistency and availability of reliable data needed to manage the Coronavirus pandemic. (28 October 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Mail Online (5) ,  Evening Standard ,  MSN News ,  Sky News ,  Reuters ,  The Conversation ,  UCL News
  • People are more likely to break inconsistent Covid-19 rules Rules which seem inconsistent carry less weight with people, and a shift towards a risk assessment and management system is needed to ensure people obey lockdown rules over the Christmas period, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (28 October 2020) Read: Wales Online ,  More: Mail Online ,  Watch: ITV’s ’Good Morning Britain’ (from 1 hour 54 mins 25 secs) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 53 mins 42 secs)
  • Study on Covid-19 brain impact "intriguing but inconclusive" A study which claims that some Covid-19 patients’ brains age 10 years is intriguing, but does not compare results before and after the illness, and includes those who self-reported but weren’t tested, cautions Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering). (27 October 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2)
  • Home UV sterilisers may not combat Covid-19 UV lights marketed as sterilisers for mobile phones won’t abide by the strict regulations of those used in hospitals and it would be difficult to know if they’re actually doing anything of note, warns Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering). (27 October 2020) Read: i News
  • Czech Republic sees Covid-19 cases soar Professor Hynek Pikhart (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains that Covid-19 cases are rising in the Czech Republic as restrictions were relaxed too quickly due to opinion polls which showed the public were strongly against lockdown measures. (27 October 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Treating healthcare workers as heroes is unhelpful The narrative of health workers as ’heroes’ or ’angels’ during Covid-19 is unhelpful, as it paints a picture of people doing things because they’re special, rather than workers doing a job that needs adequate pay and protection, argues Dr Jo Billings (UCL Psychiatry). (26 October 2020) Read: BBC News
  • ’Long Covid’ should not be overestimated Long-term symptoms of Covid-19 may exist, but are likely no more prevalent than with other illnesses, and less panic around the issue is needed, argues Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Biosciences). (26 October 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Neurological complications after a pandemic not unprecedented In the years after the Spanish flu pandemic, a small proportion of survivors of the virus developed tremors and loss of motor control, showing that it isn’t impossible that Covid-19 may lead to similar complications, says Dr Jonathan Rogers (UCL Psychiatry). (26 October 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • How can we learn to live with Covid-19? In the long term, we are likely to reach a similar situation with Covid-19 to that we currently have with the common cold, with short-term immunity and reinfections which are either weaker or held at bay with recurring vaccinations, says Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine). (26 October 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Any human contact will increase Covid-19 transmission rate The best way to protect people and the economy from Covid-19 transmission is to hold a two to three week ’circuit breaker’ lockdown where the whole country locks down temporarily to halt the spread of the virus, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (26 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 10 mins 40 secs)
  • Smoking cessation and high-risk drinking increased in lockdown The percentage of people who reported stopping smoking more than doubled after the Covid-19 lockdown was implemented in March, according to a new study led by Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Epidemiology & Health) and Professor Jamie Brown (UCL Behavioural Science & Health). (23 October 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: UCL News
  • Half of public don’t ’fully understand’ current Covid-19 lockdown rules Just 13% of people in England feel they ’fully understand’ the current Covid-19 lockdown rules, with half of adults (51%) in the country saying they understand ’the majority’ of them, finds research led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (23 October 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Huffpost ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Metro ,  Independent ,  This is Money ,  Wales Online ,  MSN News ,  Sun (Scotland) ,  Express ,  Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Sun (Scotland) (2) ,  Sun (Scotland) (3) ,  Sun (Scotland) (4) ,  Listen: Times Radio News (from 2 mins) ,  UCL News
  • Lethal cytokine storm often follows symptom recovery in Covid-19 victims The flurry of immune molecules responsible for causing the damaging tissue inflammation that kills many Covid-19 patients often occurs after their symptoms appear to be improving, says Professor David Isenbery (UCL Medicine). (23 October 2020) Read: Mail Online
  • Why optimism bias may not be helpful during a pandemic Professor Tali Sharot (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains optimism bias, saying that her research has found most people believe themselves to be less at risk from Covid-19 than the average person. (22 October 2020) Read: CNBC ,  More: CNBC (2)
  • Public are "tired and also confused" about Covid-19 restrictions Confusion around what is and isn’t allowed under current Covid-19 restrictions, coupled with fatigue from months of lockdown, are leading to a shift in public mood with regards to the virus, explains Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology). (21 October 2020) Read: Times (£) ,  Listen: Times Radio’s ’Phil Williams Show’ (from 49 mins 30 secs)
  • Backlog of patient appointments will see unnecessary deaths, experts say In a look at how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected hospital admissions and patients in the UK, a study from Professor Harry Hemingway (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) is mentioned for findings that up to 6000 patients may die due to postponed patient appointments. (20 October 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3)   
  • Gentler ventilation techniques can help Covid-19 patients Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) explains that CPAP machines can help Covid-19 patients suffering from respiratory problems to breathe easier and replace the need for medical respirators. (20 October 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2)   
  • Should England go for a ’circuit breaker’- Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) urges England to hold a circuit breaker lockdown for two weeks, arguing that it could save hundreds of lives, but that delaying such preventative measures could be disastrous. (20 October 2020) Watch: Channel 4 News  
  • Staying active can help kids through pandemic depression As a professional boxer shares classes to help kids stay positive during the pandemic, a study is mentioned from PhD candidate Aaron Kandola, Dr Gemma Lewis, and Professor David Osborn (all UCL Psychiatry), which found that staying active was linked to better mental health in kids. (19 October 2020) Read: Huffington Post  
  • Blood test to identify Covid-19 patients at risk of pneumonia ’could soon be available’ A new study from Dr Rajeev Gupta (UCL Cancer Institute) has found that patients infected with Covid-19 who have high levels of CR3 protein also face risk of pneumonia, and adds, "tracking CR3 levels in patients with COVID-19 could help us assess disease severity." (19 October 2020) Read: i News  
  • Experts call for ’circuit breaker’ to halt coronavirus spread Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains that a circuit breaker would help lower the transmission of the coronavirus, as the current situation of mixed messaging "undermines trust, a sense of national purpose and motivation to adhere to restrictions." (19 October 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: FT (£) ,  Mail Online ,  Listen: LBC Radio’s ’James O’Brien Show’ (from 2 hours 10 mins 14 secs)  
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  • Should the police be given NHS contact tracing data? Amidst concerns over personal privacy should the police receive data from the NHS contact tracing app, Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws) comments how people may feel hesitant to report symptoms of Covid-19. (19 October 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’News programme’ (from 8 mins 16 secs) ,  More: LBC Radio’s ’Nick Ferrari Show’ (from 23 mins 50 secs)   
  • Data shows the UK was the ’sick man’ of Europe even before Covid-19 As new research finds that before Covid-19 people in the UK were sicker than in neighbouring countries, research from Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) is mentioned for finding that people with greater susceptibility to the virus had health issues. (19 October 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Why is the coronavirus killing more men than women? Professor Sarah Hawkes (UCL Institute of Global Health) adds to a debate on why more men have died from Covid-19, discusses behaviour differences between genders, and adds that "the more you have women participating in the workforce, the smaller your sex difference becomes." (19 October 2020) Read: Washington Post ,  More: Seattle Times  
  • Would a ’circuit breaker’ work to stop Covid-19? Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) and Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) explain how the circuit breaker measure would reduce Covid-19 transmission but stress it must happen quickly and requires an improved test, track and trace system. (19 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Sunday Breakfast Show’ (from 2 hours 7 mins 38 secs) ,  More: LBC Radio’s ’Matt Frei Show’ (from 37 mins 44 secs)   
  • Covid-19 battle to intensify as winter sets in Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains more testing is needed as the winter will see additional cases of seasonal flu, whose symptoms strongly resemble that of Covid-19. (16 October 2020) Read: Wall Street Journal (£)
  • The UK faces huge challenges with tiered lockdown measures, experts say Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) explains how with areas going into Tier-2 lockdown restrictions, there are major challenges to face, adding "London is especially hard due to its size and large rate of mobility via public transport." (16 October 2020) Read: Mail Online
  • ’Backward’ contact tracing will give more data on coronavirus Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains how the contact tracing programme is now doing ’backward’ contact tracing to analyse the settings where people might have caught Covid-19. (16 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The Briefing Room’ (from 6 mins 49 secs)  
  • Small window to create contact tracing that works Commenting on reports that Serco will make £165m profit despite its creation of a ’shambolic’ Covid contact tracing system, Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) says we must not waste the small amount of time we have to create a functioning system. (16 October 2020) Read: Mirror ,  More: Independent  
  • NHS Track and Trace overwhelmed by infections surge With coronavirus cases surging, and health and safety breaches reported in a testing lab, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments on the effectiveness and operations of the NHS’s contact tracing programme. (16 October 2020) Read: Independent ,  More: Independent (2)
  • Can London avoid an infection rate like the North’s? Professor David Alexander (UCL Risk & Disaster Reduction) and Professor James Cheshire (UCL Geography) discuss some of the reasons why London’s coronavirus infection rate, though on the rise, is well behind the North’s. (16 October 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Covid-19 battle to intensify as winter sets in Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains more testing is needed as the winter will see additional cases of seasonal flu, whose symptoms strongly resemble that of Covid-19. (16 October 2020) Read: Wall Street Journal (£)
  • Experts criticise herd immunity in letter Eighty experts including Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology), Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) and Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) have criticised the herd immunity strategy for handling Covid-19 in a letter. (15 October 2020) Read: Mail Online  
  • Is a ’circuit-break’ in the UK’s national interest? Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) stresses how implementing a ’circuit-break’ lockdown strategy would buy time, but "has to be used to create a test, trace and isolate system that is functioning and the [UK] government has to do that." (15 October 2020) Read: Express ,  More: Express (2) ,  Express (3) ,  Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Eddie Mair Show’ (from 21 mins 35 secs) ,  More: LBC Radio’s ’Nick Abbot Show’ (from 2 mins 12 secs) ,  LBC Radio’s ’David Lammy Show’ (from 2 hours 4 mins 52 secs)   
  • New toolkit to help understand how Covid-19 affects crime A research team led by Dr Herve Borrion (UCL Security & Crime Science) has developed a new range of tools, based on "resilience theory", which can help assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on patterns of criminal activity. (15 October 2020) Read: Phys.org
  • Excess Covid-19 deaths curtailed by responsive and well-prepared nations Commenting on a comparative study which found that countries with early lockdowns and well-prepared health systems minimised additional deaths, Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) says population health measures are important to reducing virus spread. (15 October 2020) Read: AP News ,  More: Mail Online
  • A ’circuit breaker’ in England will work only if test and trace is urgently reformed Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) calls for urgent reforms to the test, trace and isolate system if England is to avoid a second national lockdown. (14 October 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: UCL News
  • ’Long Covid’ impact must be considered for students Long-term complications from Covid-19 need to be considered with regards to student infections at universities, argues Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology). (14 October 2020) Read: THE (£)
  • Effective track and trace system vital for controlling Covid-19 infection rate Even if vaccines and treatments are developed for Covid-19, the best ways to minimise excess deaths from the virus are measures such as lockdowns and an adequate test, trace and isolate system, says Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (14 October 2020) Read: Evening Standard
  • By focusing on numbers we can lose sight of people Dr Hannah Fry (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) praises New Zealand’s approach to Covid-19 and says more intellectual humility would benefit world leaders, adding "if you are totally focused on the numbers, you can lose sight of what’s best for people." (13 October 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)  
  • Do people want governments to lessen Covid-19 restrictions for sake of economy? Dr Tim Colbourn (UCL Institute for Global Health) explains that in contrast to other countries, there is a growing Anglo-American desire for government officials to "give up restrictions and let it [Covid-19] spread" to save local economies. (13 October 2020) Read: CNN News   
  • What can mathematical modelling tell us about Covid-19? Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) explains how mathematical modelling works in relation to studying viruses and explains these study the spread of transmission, and can project on how it will affect the population, adding mathematical models will show what could happen. (12 October 2020) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’Newshour’ (from 45 mins 44 secs)  
  • Don’t delay new Covid-19 procedures, experts warn Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) discusses the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the Northern regions of England and calls for the UK Government not to delay in instituting stricter measures to protect the population. (12 October 2020) Read: FT (£) ,  Watch: Channel 4 News (from 6 mins 36 secs)  
  • Chinese experts proud of China’s Covid-19 measures Professor Dabo Guan (UCL Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management) explains that many Chinese people are proud of how the Chinese Government has handled the Covid-19 pandemic, adding "Many of my friends who are professors say we did well, we set an example." (12 October 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Resistance to lockdown rules is not just ’fatigue’   In a letter to the Guardian, Professor Nigel Harvey (UCL Brain Sciences) says the World Health Organisation’s references to ’pandemic fatigue’ are misleading, adding, "Pandemic fatigue is no more a real phenomenon now than behavioural fatigue was in March." (12 October 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Four in 10 extra deaths in Lombardy not linked to Covid-19 About 24,000 more people died in Lombardy than expected between January and April, and only 14,000 of these deaths were confirmed as being related to Covid-19, according to a new study led by Professor Gianluca Baio (UCL Statistical Science) and his colleagues. (12 October 2020) Read: La Repubblica ,  More: RAI News ,  Il Giorno ,  Focus (magazine),   Yahoo! News ,  UCL News  
  • More women freezing eggs as Covid-19 puts dating on hold Professor Joyce Harper (UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health) explains why many women are freezing their eggs, saying "When they’ve been asked, most of them want to have children now, they just haven’t met Mr Right or haven’t got a partner who is happy to have children." (12 October 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Scotsman   
  • Over 65s exercising more than before lockdown Using data from an activity-tracking smartphone app, Dr Abi Fisher (UCL Epidemiology & Health) found that people aged 65 and older are exercising more than they did before lockdown. (12 October 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Times of India  
  • Scotland needs more than Boris Johnson’s pick n’ mix sweeteners As experts debate Boris Johnson’s proposals for projects in the UK, Professor John Tomaney (The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL) states that Freeports would be a bad idea, as the jobs they create are often "low quality, low paid, poorly protected and quite unstable." (12 October 2020) Read: Scotsman  
  • Local authorities must be part of the Covid-19 decision making Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains that the UK Government must include local authorities in their decision making "because the government must take the whole population with them if this is going to be a successful strategy." (12 October 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Rachel Johnson Show’ (from 1 hour 1 min 5 secs)  
  • Lose weight to lower Covid-19 risk, experts say Professor Mark Hamer (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) explains how being clinically obese may increase a person’s risk of catching Covid-19, and says, "Socially distanced physical activity may be a good intervention." (12 October 2020) Read: Deccan Herald (India)
  • ’Brain fog’ emerging symptom following Covid-19 infection Up to 20% of coronavirus sufferers could be experiencing cognitive problems, such as difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating, as a long-term symptom of the virus, says Professor Michael Zandi (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology). (9 October 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Experts urge Boris Johnson to make critical changes to deal with pandemic Explaining Independent Sage’s recommendation to enhance COVID-19 restrictions, including a ban on households mixing, Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) says "the window of opportunity for enhanced contact tracing has passed." (9 October 2020) Read: Express  
  • Are pubs and bars to blame for Covid spread? Commenting on data suggesting that 41% of under-30s with coronavirus, caught it in a pub or bar, Dr David Alexander and Dr Ilan Kelman (both UCL Risk & Disaster Reduction) say the venues’ actual contribution to virus spread is unknown and largely depends on people’s behaviour. (9 October 2020) Read: Mail Online
  • Boris Johnson’s 95% mortgages will put Britain back on course for a house price crash Dr Josh Ryan-Collins (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) doubts Boris Johnson’s plan to lower housing prices by making it easier for first time buyers to purchase homes and explains "renters must be given much stronger rights and landlords given tougher rules." (9 October 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: UCL News
  • Covid-19 deaths 3.4 times higher than flu and pneumonia Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health) explains the latest ONS data and adds "You cannot necessarily [see] it from these data, because they do not show the number of infections, but Covid-19 has a much higher case fatality rate than influenza." (9 October 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • What should the government do to support the economy? Professor Wendy Carlin (UCL Economics) calls for a UK Government strategy to eliminate fear and inaction on behalf of companies and recommends businesses should start thinking about long-term strategies to function while the coronavirus is present. (9 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The Bottom Line’ (from 6 mins 40 secs)  
  • UCL and London partners bolster UK’s COVID-19 testing capacity Up to 10,000 COVID-19 tests a day will be carried out by UCL in partnership with Health Services Laboratories; the initiative will significantly boost the UK’s community testing capacity and continues our efforts in support of the national pandemic response. (8 October 2020) Read: UCL News
  • Virus and NHS tests hit by delay in Roche supply chain As thousands of NHS tests are delayed due to Roche being unable to supply the testing chemicals to hospitals, Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) comments how this could be due to the company’s Brexit preparations. (8 October 2020) Read: Independent   
  • Covid-19 lockdowns easier at campus universities Highly localised lockdowns at universities to stem the spread of Covid-19 are far easier at campus-based universities, rather than those in London which tend to have buildings dispersed throughout the city, argues Professor Claire Callender (UCL Institute of Education). (8 October 2020) Read: Evening Standard
  • Scientists dash hopes of ’one-shot wonder’ Covid-19 vaccine Professor Deenan Pillay explains that contrary to hopes for a single one-shot coronavirus vaccine, this will be one component in a patient’s treatment and says "the expectation needs to be tempered really that this is not going to be the thing that gets rid of the virus." (7 October 2020) Read: Evening Standard ,  More: MSN News  
  • Here’s how likely you are to catch Covid-19 if your housemate tests positive Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL Pharmacy) explains more Covid-19 infections happen indoors and due of their close proximity, "a significant number of super spreader events are linked to contact within households when widespread community control measures are in place. (7 October 2020) Read: Huffington Post  
  • Spread of Covid-19 mapped in hospitals to ’break the chain’ of transmission A first-of-its kind clinical trial, led by Professor Judith Breuer (UCL Infection & Immunity), will evaluate the use of ’real time’ viral genomic data to reduce the spread of Covid-19 within hospitals. (7 October 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Mail Online ,  i News ,  UCL News  
  • Covid-19 computer error raises other concerns, experts say Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) criticises the UK Government for its lack of oversight regarding Covid-19 cases and points out that the people who should have been contacted and told to isolate could possibly have infected other people. (6 October 2020) Listen: Times Radio’s ’John Pienaar with Times Radio Drive’ (from 43 mins 42 secs)  
  • Dozens of mammals could be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 Numerous animals may be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, according to a large study modelling how the virus might infect animals’ cells, led by Professor Christine Orengo, Su Datt Lam and Professor Joanne Santini (all UCL Structural & Molecular Biology). (5 October 2020) Read: Metro ,  More: Daily Star ,  Yahoo! News ,  Wales Online ,  Daily Hunt India ,  i News ,  Mail Online ,  Sun ,  Sky News ,  Independent ,  Times of India ,  UCL News
  • High-risk people cou

    ld be moved to hotels to protect them from Covid People at high-risk of contracting severe coronavirus could be offered accommodation outside of their homes to protect them from family members who may be infected, says Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (5 October 2020) Read: Scottish Sun ,  Express  
  • Have we lost control of the virus? Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) warns we are in danger of Covid-19 getting out of control, and says the focus should be on keeping schools open rather than pubs and restaurants, which can increase the spread of the virus. (5 October 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Tom Swarbrick Show’ (from 1 hour 7 minutes 20 secs)  
  • Singing and worship the focus of new Covid-19 study Religious and faith followers are being invited to take part in a new study, led by Professor Laurence Lovat (UCL Surgery & Interventional Sciences), which aims to understand how the practice of worship has changed during Covid-19. (5 October 2020) Read: BBC News ,  Jerusalem Post ,   More: UCL News
  • Understanding the limitations of the UK’s Covid-19 figures Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains that the R rate is a composite of the whole of the UK and doesn’t take regional variations into account and that per head of population, London is being under-tested compared to other parts of the country. (5 October 2020) LBC Radio’s ’Eddie Mair Show’ (from 5 mins 40 secs)
  • Are people becoming complacent about the lockdown restrictions? Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Languages Sciences) disagrees with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s assertion that the public has become complacent about UK Government guidance and says it’s clear people are obeying the rules and many want more restrictions to be safe. (5 October 2020) Listen: Times Radio’s ’Ayesha Hazarika Show’ (from 2 hours 24 mins 35 secs)  
  • What drugs are being used to treat President Trump? Commenting on some of the drugs President Trump is trialling to treat his case of Coronavirus, Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) says the President’s use of Remdesivir is not an indication of the severity of his condition. (5 October 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Trump’s diagnosis ’unprecedented’ for US election history Dr Julie Norman (UCL Political Science) explains how Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis has raised serious questions for his re-election campaign and has forced both political parties to re-evaluate their campaign strategies. (5 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Saturday Breakfast Show’ (from 1 hour 9 mins 4 secs) ,  More: LBC Radio’s ’Andrew Castle Show’ (from 1 hour 29 mins 20 secs)  
  • Trump’s dismissive attitude to health no great surprise Dr Thomas Gift (UCL Centre on US Politics) explains President Trump’s ’cavalier attitude’ to his contracting Covid-19 is political posturing and should come as no surprise to the American public. (5 October 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’James O’Brien Show’ (from 1 hour 2 mins 44 secs)  
  • Computer glitch will affect public trust, experts say Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) says the UK Government should have better supported a working track, test and trace system and redirected efforts toward local testing centres, as a lack of communication can lead to errors. (5 October 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Lisa Aziz Show’ (from 2 hours 48 mins 46 secs)  
  • Scientists study whether immune response wards off or worsens Covid A joint study co-authored by Dr Dan Davis (UCL MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing) analysed patient samples from before the Covid-19 pandemic and found that a large number already had antibodies which would recognise the virus. (5 October 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Will Trump’s obesity affect his chances of overcoming Covid-19? Professor Rachel Batterham (UCL Medicine and UCLH) comments on how being obese affects the body’s chances of fighting off disease, and says President Trump’s weight and BMI place him in the ’at risk’ category for Covid-19 patients. (5 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Steve Nolan Show’ (from 1 hour 17 mins 20 secs)  
  • Earlier monitoring has made a difference in Covid-19 cases, experts say Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) says that while there are two promising treatments for hospitalised patients infected with Covid-19, "most of the advances that have been made in the last few months have been because of earlier monitoring." (5 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 1Xtra’s ’Seanie B Show’ (1 hour 30 mins 25 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 6’s ’Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour’ (from 30 mins 26 secs)  
  • The importance of hugs during a pandemic In a discussion on human touch during the Covid-19 pandemic, The Touch Test, an online survey developed by researchers including Professor Katerina Fotopoulou (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) is mentioned for finding links between touching and higher levels of well-being. (5 October 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Times (£) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Inside Health: Touch in Health Care’ (from 21 mins 35 secs)    
  • Covid-19: are we still following the rules? Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains the Covid-19 Social Study results and says that whilst the majority of people are complying with the national restrictions for Covid-19 safety, "people have gotten very confused as to what the rules are." (2 October 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The Briefing Room’ (from 5 mins 6 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 26 mins 14 secs)   
  • Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis `throws wrench’ into campaign Dr Julie Norman (UCL Political Science) comments on the impact US President Donald Trump’s positive Covid-19 diagnosis will have on his re-election campaign, adding, "this really does throw a wrench in everything, it’s unclear how the future of the campaign will look for Trump." (2 October 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Yahoo! News  
  • Loss of smell a ’highly reliable’ indicator of Covid-19 infection Four out of five people with sudden loss of smell or taste tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies, finds a new study led by Professor Rachel Batterham (UCL Medicine and UCLH). (2 October 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2) ,  BBC News ,  Sky News ,  BBC Science Focus ,  LBC News ,  Wales Online ,  Yahoo! News ,  Mail Online (2),   MSN ,  Listen: BBC Radio London’s ’Paul Carrack Show’ (from 3 hours 40 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio London’s ’Vanessa Feltz Show’ (from 2 hours 57 secs) ,  UCL News
  • Men overwhelmingly dominate the decision-making on Covid-19 A global health tracker run by UCL researchers including Professor Sarah Hawkes (UCL Institute of Global Health) has found that out of 115 advisory bodies from 87 countries, only 11% included women. The authors said the results reinforce unequal power structures. (2 October 2020) Read: CNN   
  • How to end the pandemic this year Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) discusses ways countries could redirect funding to support local testing centres for Covid-19, in addition to vaccine research and development, and recommends nations adopt long-term plans. (2 October 2020) Read: Project Syndicate ,  More: UCL News 
  • Experts warn "a fine line between fear and complacency" for crisis handling Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains that the UK Government has acted against the advice of its scientific advisors and says public health structures need to be improved for the test, trace and isolate system to succeed. (1 October 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Nick Ferrari Show’ (from 12 mins 30 secs)
  • Prime Minister’s press conference leaves experts speculating In response to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s press briefing, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Languages Sciences) and Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL Pharmacy) share their concerns about the national messaging and the rise of coronavirus cases. (1 October 2020) Read: Guardian ,  Listen: LBC News (from 6 mins 18 secs) ,  More: LBC Radio’s ’Eddie Mair Show’ (from 2 hours 10 mins 45 secs)  
  • ’We’ve managed the pandemic very badly’ Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) expresses his concern on the UK Government’s efforts to manage the coronavirus and says that despite the British population carefully following the rules, the country entered lockdown too late and reopened too soon. (1 October 2020) Listen: Times Radio’s ’Carole Walker Show’ (from 23 mins 20 secs)  
  • Experts warn against ’oversimplifying’ Neanderthal DNA Covid-19 theory Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) warns against oversimplifying research, as a study suggests a Neanderthal DNA strand could leave some at higher risk of catching Covid-19, adding that many have been affected who "do not have any Neanderthal genes." (1 October 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Is there any evidence that closing bars at 10pm will stem the spread of coronavirus? Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) asks whether the 10pm curfew has made an impact on the number of Covid-19 cases and says: "Unless policymakers engage with numbers as concrete statements of what can be expected, there is no basis for rational decision making." (1 October 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: UCL News 
  • Coronavirus: the three types of vaccine hesitancy authorities need to combat Honorary Research Associate Annamaria Carusi (UCL Science & Technology Studies) examines the three types of vaccine hesitancy facing authorities’ efforts to build public trust in a coronavirus vaccine, including fears over civil liberties, animal welfare and testing. (1 October 2020) Read: Conversation ,  More: UCL News
  • Scientific advisors "not scaremongering" Recent worst-case scenario estimates of Covid-19 infections by Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance weren’t a prediction of the course of the virus and were "not scaremongering" says Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (1 October 2020) Read: FT (£)
  • Inconsistent messaging led to behaviour change during Covid-19 lockdown Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) argues that fatigue with lockdown rules isn’t to blame for people’s behaviour change, but rather inconsistent health messaging and a loosening of restrictions which led to people feeling the risk had reduced. (1 October 2020) Read: CBC (Canada) ,  Listen: BBC Radio London’s ’Vanessa Feltz Show’ (from 1 hours 53 mins 4 secs)  
  • Experts debate UK’s Covid-19 shielding strategy Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Languages Sciences) debates with experts on the UK Government’s shielding strategy, explains why herd immunity would not work, and compares the rules to other countries where the strategies are working. (30 September 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 53 mins 57 secs)  
  • Depression and anxiety twice as common among older people who were shielding Older people who were instructed to shield and self-isolate at the beginning of the pandemic experienced higher levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness compared with those who were not shielding, finds to a study led by Professor Andrew Steptoe (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (30 September 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Darren Adam Show’ (from 1 hour 40 mins 20 secs) ,  UCL News  
  • Which Covid-19 restrictions are having an effect? Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) answers questions about the latest Office of National Statistics figures and explains that the rise in cases amongst younger people may be a sign that the ban on mixing within households is working. (30 September 2020) Watch: BBC 2’s ’Newsnight’ (from 26 mins 21 secs)  
  • Explaining ’immunological dark matter’ Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) explains the concept of ’immunological dark matter’ in the context of Covid-19, saying it refers to people who are "have a different kind of susceptibility to acquiring the infection." (30 September 2020) Listen: BBC Radio Scotland’s ’John Beattie Show’ (from 1 hour 37 mins 10 secs)  
  • Ventilators: NHS stocked for serious Covid cases over winter The NHS’s buy-up of 30,000 ventilators, means it is well equipped to treat serious coronavirus cases during winter, and was a reasonable spend in the context of the pandemic, says Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering). (30 September 2020) Read: BBC News
  • Why do some people break Covid quarantine rules? Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) says inconsistent and unclear messages and policies around coronavirus restrictions are making people less inclined to comply with self-isolation following possible exposure. (30 September 2020) Read: BBC News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 35 mins 46 secs) ,  Watch: BBC News Scotland’s ’Politics Scotland’ (from 22 mins 5 secs)
  • Coronavirus: how the pharma industry is changing to produce a vaccine on time Research Fellow Beatrice Melinek and Dr Stephen Morris (both UCL Biochemical Engineering) write how medical developments accelerate during crises, and share hopes for the production of a successful vaccine for Covid-19. (30 September 2020) Read: Conversation ,  More: UCL News
  • Local lockdowns appear to be working Local lockdown measures are "unfortunate" but appear to be curbing the spread of Covid-19 across north-east England, says Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health). (30 September 2020) Read: The Scotsman ,  More: Mirror  
  • Expect more ’testing chaos’ this winter Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) explains that due to the similar symptoms Covid-19 shares with the common flu, health officials can expect to see an increase in the number of patients reporting what they think may be the coronavirus. (30 September 2020) Read: Express  
  • Prime Minister apologises for misunderstanding Covid-19 rules Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s misunderstanding of the latest Covid-19 restrictions adds to public confusion and his statements "not only exacerbate this problem but also highlight problems with the rules themselves." (30 September 2020) Read: Metro  
  • Experts call for more press briefings on Covid-19 Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) explains that many are confused by the UK Government’s recent restrictions on pubs and suggests more press briefings would be useful to help the public understand what is happening with national efforts to combat the coronavirus. (29 September 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Eddie Mair Show’ (from 2 hours 9 mins 58 secs)  
  • Controlling Covid-19 during the winter months Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) discusses rising Covid-19 infection rates, expectations for the virus in the colder weather, and experiments with guidelines to control the coronavirus as the global death toll passes one million. (29 September 2020) Watch: Bloomberg
  • Global coronavirus deaths pass one million with no sign rate is slowing Following data which indicates the death toll from Covid-19 worldwide has surpassed one million, experts debate the true mortality figures, with Dr Gianluca Baio (UCL Statistical Science) saying, "To some extent the quest for the true number of Covid-19 deaths is impossible." (29 September 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Supply problems deter drug dealers in lockdown Dr Adam Winstock (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on the recent Global Drug Survey which found that the availability of drugs had decreased during the pandemic, saying lockdown restrictions may have changed the behaviour of some drug users. (29 September 2020) Read: Times (£)  
  • The truth behind false negative Covid-19 results Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains that false negative results for the coronavirus could appear due to the quality of the swab that is taken, and adds that not thoroughly swabbing patients for the virus could contribute to the issue. (28 September 2020) Read: Huffington Post  
  • Covid-19 "not a simple pneumonia" Professor Sir Jonathon Montgomery (UCL Laws) comments on the pros and cons of drugs used to combat Covid-19, and adds that many people have gotten the wrong message that the coronavirus is less infectious and less lethal. (28 September 2020) Listen: Times Radio’s ’Jenny Kleeman and Luke Jones with Times Radio Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 49 mins 20 secs)  
  • Neighbours urged to call police on Covid self-isolation cheats Following guidance encouraging reporting of those not self-isolating who should, research from Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychol

    ogy & Languages Sciences) and Dr Henry Potts (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) is referenced, for its findings that people aren’t obeying rules. (28 September 2020) Read: Telegraph (£),   More: Yahoo! News ,  Mirror ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 38 mins 57 secs)  
  • Do people want tougher restrictions for Covid-19? Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) shares his opinion that the lockdown in England came too late, and adds that with infections of the coronavirus rising, "we do need to strengthen things now." (28 September 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Andrew Castle Show’ (from 12 mins 42 secs)  
  • Covid-19’s second coming: how did Britain get back in this mess? Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) and Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) comment that the Covid-19 outbreaks are the result of people having returned "to normal behaviours too quickly" and stress the need for a competent test and trace system. (28 September 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • What do scientists think of the PM’s Covid-19 plan? Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments on the Prime Minister’s new rules which allow businesses to stay open and households to socialise, saying that swifter action may need to be taken to control the coronavirus. (28 September 2020) Read: BBC News  
  • NHS contact tracing app depends on public trust Professor Sir Jonathon Montgomery (UCL Laws) comments on the new test and trace app, adding how the app’s effectiveness depends on the public’s trust and their willingness to use it. (28 September 2020) Listen: LBC News Radio’s ’David Lammy Show’ (from 1 hour 49 secs) ,  More: Times Radio’s ’Alexis Conran Show’ (from 2 hours 31 mins 14 secs)   
  • The impact of Covid-19 on the housing market Professor Yolande Barnes (UCL Bartlett Real Estate Institute) says that detached homes in good areas are likely to increase in value during the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst poorly built flats in tower blocks are not only losing value, but are also proving harder to sell in general. (25 September 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Unclear if global leaders are learning the lessons of Covid-19 It’s not clear that governments are structuring their response to the Covid-19 pandemic in a constructive way, especially with regards to building a more resilient economy and healthcare system, says Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose). (25 September 2020) Watch: Bloomberg
  • A fifth of people say they’re unlikely to get vaccinated against Covid-19 A fifth of people have said that when a Covid-19 vaccine is approved, they’re unlikely to get it, with 10% of people saying they were ’very unlikely’ to get vaccinated, finds research led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (24 September 2020) Read: Times (£) ,  More: Metro ,  Mail Online ,  Herald (Scotland) ,  Sun ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Wales Online ,  Guardian ,  Times Radio’s ’Westminster and beyond’ (from 2 hours 40 mins 56 secs) ,  UCL News
  • Frosty response for plan to keep classroom windows open Commenting on the response to a Walsall school’s plan to keep classroom windows open during winter, to avoid spreading coronavirus, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) says students will need to adapt to the situation and wear warmer clothing. (24 September 2020) Read: Mirror ,  More: Scottish Sun
  • NHS launches its new coronavirus contact tracing app Commenting, Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws) and Dr Isobel Braithwaite (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) on data safety and the benefits of the new NHS coronavirus contact tracing app. (24 September 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 6’s ’Lauren Laverne’ (from 7 secs)   More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Zoe Ball Breakfast Show (from 30 mins 30 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’News Briefing’ (from 2 mins 39 secs) ,  LBC’s ’Nick Ferrari at Breakfast’ (from 9 mins 5 secs)
  • Why do we panic-buy loo roll? Commenting on the psychology of the coronavirus panic-buying phenomenon, Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) says people are returning to protective and nesting behaviours as winter looms and the disease spreads. (23 September 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Bolstering the US’s response to coronavirus "war" As America’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000, Dr Thomas Gift (UCL Centre on US Politics) suggests ways President Trump could strengthen his "wartime" response to the pandemic. (23 September 2020) Read: Newsweek
  • New coronavirus measures "halfway house" Commenting on the Government’s new restrictions to tackle the increasing coronavirus infection rate, Senior Research Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL Pharmacy) says the measures are a "halfway house" but could still have significant impact. (23 September 2020) Listen: LBC’s ’Iain Dale Show’ (from 12 mins 35 secs)
  • New measures won’t stop Covid increase Commenting on criticism from the British Medical Association that new measures to curb a rise in the coronavirus infection rate were not enough, Professor Robert West (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) says they should help but won’t stop the increase. (23 September 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Times ,  FT (£) ,  Scottish Sun ,  Scottish Sun (2) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Sun ,  Business Insider
  • Animals could act as Covid-19 reservoirs Farmed minks in Norway have tested positive for Covid-19, meaning that even if the disease is wiped out in humans it could potentially be dormant within animals and reinfect people that way, explains Professor Joanne Santini (UCL Biosciences). (23 September 2020) Listen: ABC (Australia) (from 4 mins 55 secs)
  • Targeted measures, not national lockdowns, needed to fight Covid-19 A letter signed by Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Biosciences) and Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) urges the UK Government to consider more targeted measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than blanket restrictions. (22 September 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2)
  • Teachers’ wellbeing largely unaffected by lockdown Teachers’ wellbeing stayed largely the same during lockdown, with the proportion of teachers reporting high levels of work anxiety slightly falling, according to research co-authored by Professor John Jerrim (UCL Institute of Education). (22 September 2020) Read: Schoolsweek ,  More: UCL News
  • How are maths departments responding to the challenge of blended learning? Low attainers and those from disadvantaged backgrounds have faced significantly greater restrictions in their opportunity to learn maths during lockdown, finds research co-led by Dr Becky Taylor (UCL Institute of Education). (22 September 2020) Read: SchoolsWeek
  • Gender responsive interventions needed during pandemic Governments faced with a second wave of Covid-19 must plan gender responsive interventions, such as ensuring women and children at risk of violence in their homes are adequately protected, says Professor Sarah Hawkes (UCL Institute of Global Health). (22 September 2020) Read: NBC News ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • The UK should learn from the mistakes of the March lockdown Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Languages Sciences) warns that the government needs to learn lessons from the March lockdown and not delay in implementing necessary restrictions to stem the Covid-19 pandemic. (21 September 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Telegraph (£) (2) ,  New Zealand Herald ,  Yahoo! News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 1 hour 2 mins 20 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Around the Piano with Tom Odell’ (from 16 secs)
  • Refocus Test and Trace to save lives Modelling by Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) finds that shifting the focus of Test and Trace towards local health teams would be more effective, as Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) warns immediate action is needed to halt a second wave. (21 September 2020) Read: Mirror ,  More: Express ,  City A.M. ,  Irish Times
  • Covid unemployment: a new crisis? Honorary Professor Steve Keen (UCL Economics) takes part in a panel discussion on Covid-19’s impact on the economy and potential ways to solve the employment crisis that is resulting from the pandemic. (21 September 2020) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’The Real Story’ (from 4 mins 25 secs)
  • Interview: Professor Susan Michie Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discusses the flaws in the Conservative government’s response to Covid-19 and its failure to build trust through honest communication, in an interview for The Observer. (21 September 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Current Covid restrictions are inadequate Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) says that the rule of six is not sufficient to halt the spread of Covid-19, and that people should be able to socialise with one or two other households, rather than mixing with multiple different groups over time. (21 September 2020) Read: BBC News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 2 hours 1 min 7 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Craig Charles House Party’ (from 1 min 10 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (2) (from 7 mins 30 secs)
  • Covid-19 infections increasing faster than expected, experts say Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments on the speed at which Covid-19 cases are being reported and explains this is likely because "the higher the number of contacts we have, the greater the probability of transmission." (18 September 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Show’ (from 2 hours 2 mins)
  • Importance of international solidarity during Covid-19 UCL Medical School (UCLMS) has a number of highly valued international collaborations, enabling cross-country learning and expertise, in support of medical education. Professor Deborah Gill (Director of UCLMS), explains why these partnerships are as important as ever. (18 September 2020) Read: Clinical Teacher ,  More: UCL News
  • The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t solve climate change Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) contributes to a debate on whether the lockdowns begun by the coronavirus pandemic have affected climate change’s impact on the environment and adds "Climate change is not stopping because of lockdowns." (18 September 2020) Read: CNN
  • UK two weeks from losing control of virus Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) explains that the most recent mathematical modelling has shown the UK has two to three weeks to get the testing system under control and calls for specialised health teams to be tasked with monitoring infections. (18 September 2020) Read: City A.M. ,  More: Express
  • How to lift an economy in a post-Covid world? Professor Steve Keen (UCL Office of the Vice-Provost: Research) joins a discussion on unemployment and global economies after the coronavirus pandemic ends, and gives examples of countries whose economies he expects will be affected by their early efforts to stop the virus. (18 September 2020) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’The Real Story’ (from 4 mins 25 secs)
  • Debunking a Covid-19 ’miracle cure’ Emeritus Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Biosciences) debunks claims by a group of Bolivian doctors that Chlorine Dioxide can help cure Covid-19, saying "Whatever actions it has at cellular level have nothing to do with whether or not it helps Covid...That needs trials in humans." (17 September 2020) Read: Business Insider
  • Will there be a spike in Covid-19 deaths? With Covid-19 cases on the rise, Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) shares her concerns that "the number of hospitalisations and deaths may be lagging behind [the recent spike in cases] and we just don’t know at the moment." (17 September 2020) Read: Huffington Post  
  • Will Europe emerge from the pandemic as a stronger union? Next Generation E.U., the ¤750 billion coronavirus aid package for European countries, has led many to hope that EU countries will form a closer bond, but Professor Rainer Kattel (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) cautions that this solidarity may be short-lived. (17 September 2020) Read: New York Magazine  
  • Workers bring Covid-19 into care homes, not visitors With care homes going into lockdown to protect elderly residents, Dr Aida Suarez-Gonzalez (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) warns that "Covid does not enter care homes through visitors, but workers instead. This is what we’ve learned during the first wave." (17 September 2020) Read: i News  
  • ’Lives are going to be lost unnecessarily’ Independent Sage member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Science) explains the UK Government’s test, trace and isolate system is vital as it allows experts to identify where outbreaks are, but without a working system ’lives are going to be lost unnecessarily." (16 September 2020) Listen: Talk Radio’s ’The Julia Hartley-Brewer Breakfast Show’ (from 1 hour 36 mins 55 secs)  
  • People’s lives ’on hold’ due to lack of Covid-19 tests Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) sympathises with the people who cannot get tested for Covid-19 as many who may be infected won’t know, and "the danger is that when we do get a hold on it, whenever testing is fixed in a few weeks, we’ll already be at 20,000 cases." (16 September 2020) Watch: BBC News (from 9 mins)
  • ’Not enough tests for five months due to winter coughs’ With the number of winter colds and flu expected to spike, new research from a team including Dr Rob Aldridge (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) indicates that people with colds who request Covid-19 tests will further lower the limited supply of coronavirus tests for months. (16 September 2020) Read: BBC News  
  • 500,000 people a day will show Covid-19 symptoms this winter With more Covid-19 cases on the rise, Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health) highlights the importance of the testing system in the UK’s fight to control the coronavirus, and adds the demand and capacity would "need to rise quite rapidly over the autumn and winter." (16 September 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Guardian ,  Wales Online ,  Mirror ,  Guardian ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 9 mins 36 secs)  
  • Fears Covid-19 may leave thousands in UK with severe kidney disease While experts debate whether long-term kidney problems may be an after-effect Covid-19, Professor Sebastian Brandner (UCL Institute of Neurology) explains more research must be done to determine the coronavirus’s impact on the human body. (16 September 2020)
  • Coronavirus fatality rates are way down - why has the government not taken this on board? Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) calls the UK health officials’ belief that a second wave of the coronavirus will be as lethal as the first ’irrational’ and adds that despite the rising Covid-19 cases, fewer people are dying from it. (16 September 2020) Read: City A.M.  
  • The rise and fall of the immunity passport In a look at the merits of immunity passports during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws) criticises a report from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, stating it doesn’t consider the full implications of who could use the data, for how long or its purpose. (15 September 2020) Read: New Statesman  
  • Rule of six doesn’t make sense, says experts Independent Sage member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Science) criticises the rule of six, asserting that the public health measure’s messaging is unclear and that there has been no evidence provided for it. (15 September 2020) Listen: Talk Radio’s ’Drivetime with Dan Wootton’ (from 22 mins 16 secs)  
  • Tests run out in England’s top Covid-19 hotspots Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) comments on the lack of Covid-19 diagnostic tests in the areas where they are most needed, tweeting, "People with COVID but no test confirmation will not necessarily be isolating and their contacts certainly won’t." (15 September 2020) Read: Yahoo! News  
  • Explaining the rule of six Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains the reasoning behind the new Covid-19 regulations and how "sticking to the rule of six outside of school will reduce opportunities for transmission." (14 September 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • The end of commuterland? With London’s lure for business entrepreneurs dwindling in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Professor Yolande Barnes (UCL Bar

    tlett Real Estate Institute) comments on the fewer commuters travelling to London for work and how "great cities breathe in and breathe out" populations. (14 September 2020) Read: Economist (£)  
  • How was the rule of six decided? Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) discusses the ’rule of six’ and questions whether the science backs up the UK Government’s new public health measure. (14 September 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Liza Aziz Show’ (from 2 hours 6 mins 20 secs)  
  • England ’on knife-edge’ as Covid-19 cases rise With many expressing concern over the increase in Covid-19 cases in the UK, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) says the latest data shows that out of those people being asked to self-isolate, less than half were properly doing so. (14 September 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Experts say stop blaming young people for Covid-19 Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care) and Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) say we shouldn’t blame young people for socialising during the pandemic and that doing so "could have [the] opposite effect on compliance." (14 September 2020) Read: Yahoo! News  
  • Britain has done more than any other to meet the challenge of coronavirus In a look at innovations sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices manufactured by a team led by Professor Rebecca Shipley (UCL Mechanical Engineering), Mercedes-AMG HPP and UCLH in partnership with Mercedes F1 are mentioned. (14 September 2020) Read: ThisIsMoney ,  More: MSN News ,  FT (£)  
  • Working from home could be keeping Covid-19 at bay - for proof, look at London Professor James Cheshire (UCL Geography) and his colleague discuss why London’s highly dense population reports low numbers of Covid-19, asserting that it may be because many London jobs can be done remotely. (14 September 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: UCL News
  • Does Trump’s Covid-19 audio recording spell the end to his election hopes? Dr Brian Klaas (UCL European Languages, Culture and Society) comments on the recording of President Trump admitting to downplaying the Covid-19’s impact, adding that Trump’s handling of the pandemic will just be one of many contentious issues for voters in the upcoming election. (14 September 2020) Listen: Times Radio’s ’Ayesha Hazarika Show’ (from 2 hours 43 mins 58 secs)  
  • Could the anti-vaccination movement hinder a potential coronavirus vaccine? Professor Helen Bedford (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) explains that the drop in UK vaccination rates isn’t solely from anti-vaxxers but also comes from confusion following NHS reforms moving vaccination services to local authorities, which mean many do not know where to go. (14 September 2020) Read: Times (£)  
  • How Covid-19 attacks the brain Dr Michael Zandi (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) explains the findings of a study on the effects of Covid-19 on the human brain, adding that patients can be affected in different ways with some suffering from neurological effects of the coronavirus and others not. (11 September 2020) Read: Evening Standard ,  More: New York Post ,  Nature
  • Does the technology for rapid Covid-19 testing exist? Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments how even with the right technology, the tests must work properly to avoid false positive or negative results, the laboratories need to have capacity to run the tests, and "people have got to want to comply." (11 September 2020) Listen: BBC Radio London’s ’Salma El-Wardany and Lionheart Show’ (from 2 hours 20 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World at One’ (from 24 mins 45 secs)  
  • Over a quarter of people say their lives are very different now compared to before Covid-19 Despite the easing of lockdown measures, 28% of adults have reported that their lives are currently ’completely different’ or have ’lots of differences’ compared to prior to Covid-19, finds Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care) as part of the Covid-19 Social Study. (11 September 2020) Read: Evening Standard ,  More: MSN News ,  Wales Online ,  CNN ,  Listen: LBC News’ ’Darren Adam Show’ (from 1 hour 51 mins) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’A Short History of Solitude’ (from 20 mins 55 secs) ,  UCL News
  • Experts unsurprised Covid-19 cases are increasing Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) says the rise of Covid-19 cases is unsurprising and promotes the mathematical modelling of Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) which predicted there will be a second wave of the coronavirus. (9 September 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Eddie Mair Show’ (from 20 mins 26 secs)  
  • On coronavirus, governments have been the most irrational of us all Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) writes how policy makers have reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic without complete or accurate information, and how governments are most guilty of this. (9 September 2020) Read: City A.M.  
  • Labs told to run some Covid-19 tests twice amid concerns of false-positives Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments on new PHE guidance for laboratories to run patients’ Covid-19 tests twice if the positive result is vague, saying false positive results in the lab are not unusual or unique to the virus. (9 September 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)  
  • Group sizes to be restricted due to Covid-19 Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on the confusion surrounding the UK Government decision to restrict social gatherings to a maximum of six people both indoors and outdoors. (9 September 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Darren Adams’ Show’ (from 6 mins 18 secs)  
  • The plight of domestic workers in lockdown Professor Virginia Mantouvalou (UCL Laws), explains the legal complications facing unemployed migrant workers in the UK, adding "there is absolutely no guarantee that someone who has been ill-treated and possibly trafficked will manage to be recognised as a victim of trafficking. (8 September 2020) Read: Al Jazeera News  
  • Why are the new coronavirus cases in younger people? With new statistics revealing that the new outbreaks of Covid-19 cases are in younger people in their 20s, experts including Honorary Lecturer Dr Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Senior Teaching Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) debate the causes. (8 September 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  Watch: BBC News  
  • Coronavirus showed the way cities fund public transport is broken - here’s how it needs to change Dr Jenny McArthur (UCL STEaPP) writes how the coronavirus has affected public transport in cities, and calls for sustainable and affordable funding for passengers once the Covid-19 pandemic ends. (8 September 2020) Read: Conversation  
  • What is the significance of the jump in infection numbers? Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) explains there are unknown variables regarding the new data of Covid-19 cases in the UK, adding "we still don’t know the longer-term effects of mild or asymptomatic infections, let alone the longer-term disabilities of hospitalised survivors." (8 September 2020) Read: Times (£)  
  • UK case rises are ’concerning’ Independent Sage members Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Science) and Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health) criticise the UK Government’s confusing messaging and express concern at the "very worrying increases in cases" of Covid-19 in England. (8 September 2020) Read: BBC News ,  Yahoo! News ,  China Daily ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Six O’Clock News’ (from 7 mins 12 secs) ,  More: Times Radio’s ’John Pienaar with Times Radio Drive’ (from 1 hour 19 mins 55 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 11 mins 40 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 15 mins 53 secs) ,  Watch: ITV News   
  • How the ageing immune system makes older people vulnerable to COVID-19 A study by Professor Arne Akbar (UCL Infection & Immunity) is mentioned in a look at how older patients face a higher risk of dying from Covid-19, as they are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus. (8 September 2020) Read: New York Times (£)   More: Times of India ,  Chicago Tribune    
  • Young people must know Covid-19 risks Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments how it is essential younger people are warned about Covid-19, as new positive cases are rising among people aged 20-29 and up to age 45. (7 September 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Express ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ ,  More: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’5 Live Breakfast Show’ (from 1 hour 21 mins 17 secs)     
  • Is Covid-19 a seasonal virus? Professor David Alexander (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction) dismisses the seasonality theory of the coronavirus, adding that it is not so much the virus worsens over the winter months, but that immunity generally falls in the population during this time. (7 September 2020) Read: Huffington Post  
  • Europe races to reopen schools amid Covid-19 resurgence In a discussion on schools reopening despite increasing Covid-19 cases, Senior Teaching Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) explains how viral transmission rates are higher amongst teachers, and adds we must "think about how we can protect teachers as well as pupils." (7 September 2020) Read: VOA News  
  • Why isn’t London having a second wave of Covid-19 While other European cities go back into lockdown amid fresh cases of the coronavirus, Professor David Alexander (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction) says the lack of a second spike in London is an enigma, "given that London very definitely led during the initial peak." (7 September 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Could the MMR vaccine help prevent Covid-19? As the MMR vaccine is trialled to determine its skill at protecting healthcare workers from Covid-19, Professor Laurence Lovat (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) adds "it may enhance the effectiveness of vaccines currently in development to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection." (7 September 2020)   
  • Fears UK government has lost control as Covid-19 cases soar With over 2500 new cases of the coronavirus reported in a single day, Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) warns that "There is no way you can look at these figures and feel confident". (7 September 2020) Read: Guardian ,  Listen: Times Radio’s ’Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell with Times Radio Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 31 mins 38 secs) ,  More: Times Radio’s ’John Pienaar with Times Radio Drive’ (from 20 mins 6 secs ,  LBC Radio’s ’Shelagh Fogarty Show’ (from 2 hours 36 mins 43 secs) ,  Watch: Sky News ,  More: ITV ’s Good Morning Britiain (from 1 hour 38 mins 35 secs)    
  • Do the experts understand the Covid-19 rules? Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Science) explains that the changing regulations for remaining safe during the Covid-19 pandemic has caused confusion and adds "it’s thoroughly confusing, in terms of just people’s brains being able to absorb and keep up with it." (7 September 2020) Listen: BBC Radio London’s ’Vanessa Feltz Show’ (from 2 hours 54 mins 9 secs)
  • Leeds faces potential lockdown as new Covid-19 cases emerge In response to new cases of the coronavirus emerging in Leeds, Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) states how England should have followed other countries’ strategies in lowering infection rates and adds "the problem is that this remains a very infectious virus." (4 September 2020) Read: Daily Star
  • Coronavirus: what researchers know about the risk of reopening schools - and how best to limit it Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) co-writes a piece on how best to protect pupils in schools from Covid-19. (4 September 2020) Read: Conversation ,  More: UCL News
  • Remote-work visas will shape the future of work, travel and citizenship As Bermuda is the first country to issue 12-month remote work visas, PhD researcher Dave Cook (UCL Anthropology) asserts this will change the future of work and our views on citizenship. (3 September 2020) Read: Conversation ,  More: UCL News
  • Preparing children to return to school in a pandemic Dr Bettina Hohnen and Dr Jane Gilmour (both UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) offers tips and tricks for parents to help their children adjust to returning to schools, including staying calm, sticking to a routine and tailoring advice to children’s communication styles. (1 September 2020) Read: Guardian   
  • Quarter of Covid victims in England and Wales have dementia People with dementia account for 25% of Covid-related deaths in England and Wales, and form the large majority of linked care home deaths globally, finds a cross-country report co-led by UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and UCL Psychiatry academics. (1 September 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Little room for manoeuvre as UK Covid cases rise Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) comments how we could see more cases of Covid-19 in this autumn as more people are staying inside and working in close quarters. (1 September 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Guardian (2)  
  • The curious saga of the deceased Herman Cain’s living Twitter account Following the tweets sent from Herman Cain’s twitter account which downplayed Covid-19, Dr Brian Klaas (UCL European Languages, Culture and Society) calls the tweet ’a tragedy’, as the former GOP presidential candidate Cain died of the coronavirus. (1 September 2020) Read: Washington Post (£)  
  • Covid-19 pandemic has changed our working environment As countries like Bermuda are offering remote working visas for visitors, PhD Researcher Dave Cook (UCL Anthropology) comments how the Covid-19 pandemic has forced employers to allow flexible working hours and remote working options for employees. (1 September 2020) Read: BBC News  
  • Why pandemics aren’t the worst thing that could happen In a discussion on solar storms, Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) explains the devastating impact these could have on our communications if one hit the earth, saying "the possible consequences are immense". (1 September 2020) Read: Times (£)  
  • Herd behaviour is helping keep London offices empty Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments how in the UK people feel comfortable shopping at the same shops as everyone else, yet during the pandemic it is this same herd behaviour which keeps people working at home. (1 September 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: MSN News   
  • Experts say we are returning to work too early Amidst criticism of the UK Government’s push for remote workers to return to offices, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) calls this move premature, saying there was "concern about the timing about encouraging a return to work." (1 September 2020) Read: Independent ,  More: MSN News  
  • Far right using coronavirus as excuse to attack Asians In a look at the increased numbers of hate crimes against Asian people, Dr Lu Gram (UCL Institute for Global Health) explains how President Trump’s calling Covid-19 the ’China virus’ has helped spread a wrong message and contribute to hate crimes. (1 September 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: MSN News ,  Fr24 News ,  Yahoo! News  
  • Has lockdown stolen our humour? In a look at how one comedian has struggled with keeping a positive outlook during the lockdown, Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains that during times of stress and when we are uncomfortable, finding something laughable is much harder. (1 September 2020) Read: Times (£)  
  • Government and teachers’ realities are increasingly worlds apart Dr Alice Bradbury (UCL Institute of Education) comments on the A-levels exam results controversy and how this has served to increase distrust in the UK Government from parents and the teaching sector. (28 August 2020) Read: Schools Week ,  More: UCL News
  • Experts point out flaws in Government’s return to work scheme Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) criticises the UK Government’s encouragement for people to return to the workplace, explaining how long commutes negatively impacts people’s health, whereas working from home allows for greater productivity. (28 August 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Dotun Adebayo Show’ (from 3 hours 1 min 21 secs)
  • Scientists target coronavirus immunity puzzle With the new UK Coronavirus Immunolo

    gy Consortium (UK-CIC) dedicated to learning how immunity affects a patient’s response to Covid-19, Professor Mala Maini (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains "The immune system is underlying everything that’s key to the response to this virus." (28 August 2020) Read: BBC News  
  • Fuller care homes with fewer staff had more Covid-19 cases In a study of care homes, a UCL study led by Dr Laura Shallcross (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) found that higher numbers of residents and fewer staff were linked to higher numbers of Covid-19 cases. (28 August 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News  
  • Covid-19 and law and order key issues for US election Dr Thomas Gift (UCL Centre for US Politics) comments on the upcoming American presidential election, adding how the Republican Party is seeking to control their messaging by depicting the Democratic Party as a "fundamentally dangerous enterprise". (27 August 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Lisa Aziz Show’ (from 3 hours 28 mins 7 secs)   
  • How worried should we be about the coronavirus resurgence in Europe? Three experts weigh in Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) and her colleagues discuss the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 in Europe, and calls for increased track and tracing and testing as the world awaits a working vaccine. (27 August 2020) Read: Conversation ,  More: UCL News
  • The cases for and against wearing masks in schools Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Professor Russell Viner (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) debate the science supporting and rebutting the UK Government’s decision to require children to wear face masks in communal areas at school from 31 August. (26 August 2020) Read: Guardian   
  • Sweden shows us whether lockdown was worth the economic cost Researcher Rickard Nyman and Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (both UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) compared the trajectory of deaths from Covid-19 between the UK and Sweden and found that 20,000 lives had been saved from the lockdown versus an estimate of 500,000. (26 August 2020) Read: City A.M.  
  • Has England learned any lessons from the first wave of coronavirus? Discussing a potential second wave of Covid-19, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments how there is a lack of data available on how many people with symptoms have been contacted and are self-isolating. (25 August 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • New patient contracts Covid-19 twice As a patient in Hong Kong is found to have had two different strains of Covid-19, Professor Mala Maini (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments that "we can’t assume someone who has had Covid-19 can’t get it again just because they initially became antibody-positive." (25 August 2020) Read: Yahoo! News  
  • Exploring Covid-19’s impact on BAME communities Ahead of a documentary on Covid-19’s impact on BAME communities, a study led by Dr Rob Aldridge (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) and Dr Delan Devakumar (UCL Institute for Global Health) is mentioned for looking into why BAME people are 2.3 times more likely to die from it. (25 August 2020) Read: Yahoo! News ,  More: AOL News  
  • Loosening restrictions could trigger a second wave of Covid-19 As schools reopen and more people are meeting in groups and using public transport, Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) warns that these could all contribute to an autumn spike in Covid-19 cases and calls for a public information campaign to keep cases down. (24 August 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News  
  • UK’s R value may be above 1 for first time on record In a discussion on Covid-19 and the R value, Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains how when the infection rates decline, the transmission of the virus varies across the population, making the R value a less useful tool for scientists. (24 August 2020) Read: Guardian  
  • Sovereign funds rethink once-reliable real estate With many retailers like Harrods projecting losses, Professor Yolande Barnes (UCL Bartlett Real Estate Institute) explains how the Covid-19 pandemic has posed major issues for many commercial properties, requiring some retailers to attempt to renegotiate rental agreements. (24 August 2020) Read: Reuters ,  More: Straits Times  
  • Will Covid-19 kill off the teaching-research employment model? As the Covid-19 pandemic strains the traditional teaching model in higher education, Professor Graeme Reid (UCL Office of the Vice Provost: Research) explains how this is a good time for universities to align with the UK Government’s wish for more research into science. (24 August 2020) Read: THE (£)   
  • The education time bomb to worry about Professor Francis Green (UCL Institute of Education), Emeritus Professor Uta Frith and Professor Susan Michie (both UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discuss the fear that children re-entering schools will struggle to resume their education after the Covid-19 lockdown. (24 August 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  Listen: LBC News (from 1 hour 46 mins 44 secs)  
  • Contact tracing apps unlikely to contain Covid-19 spread Contract tracing apps used to reduce the spread of Covid-19 are unlikely to be effective without proper uptake and support from concurrent control measures, finds a new study led by Dr Isobel Braithwaite (UCL Psychiatry and UCL Health Informatics). (20 August 2020) Read: FT (£) ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Independent ,  Mail Online ,  Metro ,  Express ,  Yahoo! News ,  UCL News 
  • Could Covid-19 thrive this winter? As some fear a second wave of Covid-19 this winter, Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains how "In the presence of a large reservoir of susceptible conditions [and people], Sars-CoV-2 can cause epidemics irrespective of climatic conditions." (19 August 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • What do we know about immunity to Covid-19? In a discussion on immunity to the coronavirus, Professor Mala Maini (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains how a patient’s T-cells could work with antibodies to create stronger antibodies and protect a person from the virus. (19 August 2020) Read: Evening Standard   
  • PHE reform "huge concern" during global pandemic Commenting on plans to reform Public Health England (PHE) following criticism of its Covid-19 response, Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) and Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Health Informatics) outline concerns about the move. (17 August 2020) Read: i News ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Independent ,  Huffington Post ,  Huffington Post (2) ,  AOL News ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  New Scientist ,  Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Darren Adam’s Show’ (from 1 hour 38 mins 57 secs)  
  • Public supportive of Covid-19 health measures Commenting on studies showing that the public supports more local lockdowns and continuing bans on large sporting events, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) says despite dips in compliance at times, most people have adhered to social distancing measures. (17 August 2020) Listen: LBC News (from 4 hours 8 minutes 10 seconds)
  • Experts question UK Government’s Covid-19 strategy Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) questions whether the UK Government will change its strategy for handling the coronavirus as reports show that over 1000 news cases have been confirmed in the UK over the last 24 hours. (13 August) Read: Independent   
  • Russian Covid-19 vaccine roll-out "unethical" Russia’s approval of a Covid-19 vaccine despite it not yet passing the requisite clinical trials is "a reckless and foolish decision" and "mass vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical," says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). (12 August) Read: Guardian ,  More: Independent ,  Times (£) ,  Telegraph (£) ,  New York Times ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Sun ,  Metro ,  Reuters ,  NBC News ,  MSN News ,  Yahoo! News ,  Mail Online (3) ,  ITV News ,  France24
  • Study examines effects of Covid-19 on pregnant women A UCL-led research team including Professor Judith Stephenson, Dr Geraldine Barrett, Dr Jennifer Hall and Professor Anna David (all UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health) are running the Cap-Covid survey, which looks at the effects of Covid-19 on pregnant women in the UK. (12 August 2020) Read: Evening Standard  
  • Putin’s dangerous vaccine gamble Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) highlights the political sentiment surrounding the newly developed Russian Covid-19 vaccine, and the ethical issues involved with Russia having bypassed normal safety trials. (12 August 2020) Read: Post ,  More: UCL News
  • Teachers and students urged to walk to school Commenting as ministers urge teachers and pupils to walk or cycle to school when they return in September, Professor Russell Viner (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) says schools themselves play less of a role in transmitting coronavirus. (11 August 2020) Read: Evening Standard
  • Counting Covid cases not a straightforward task England’s Chief Medical Officer has suggested the nation’s Covid infection rate may increase if society opens as planned, however commenting Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) says multiple tests on individuals can affect how many cases are counted. (11 August 2020) Read: Yahoo! News
  • Generational differences in lockdown adherence have multiple causes Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on UCL’s Covid-19 Social Study, which show a lower adherence to lockdown rules amongst younger people, explaining this is likely due to younger people leading more logistically complicated lives involving work or childcare. (10 August 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • Why did England have Europe’s worst Covid figures? The answer starts with austerity In an op-ed for the Guardian, Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments how increased life expectancy, growing health inequalities and a decrease in local UK Government spending all contributed to England having the worst Covid-19 death rates in Europe. (10 August 2020) Read: Guardian   
  • Critical interventions needed against coronavirus Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) call for a coordinated programme of research to develop social and behavioural interventions to help prevent future viral outbreaks. (10 August 2020) Read: BMJ  
  • UK Government must replace failing test and trace scheme Independent Sage members Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) and Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) call for a rethink of the test and trace system, suggesting that the resources would yield better results if they supported local testing. (10 August 2020) Read: Independent ,  More: Telegraph (£)  
  • Should people with vulnerable health self-quarantine? Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) answers questions about whether encouraging people with diabetes, obesity and who suffer from health issues should shield during the pandemic. He says people can examine their own risks and decide whether to self-isolate. (7 August 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 20 mins 17 secs)  
  • The two types of contact tracing On the topic of contact rates of Covid-19, Dr Guy Harling (UCL Institute for Global Health) discusses complex and non-complex cases of the coronavirus and explains how a 4% shift in the number of cases is a small change compared to the number of cases reported months ago. (7 August 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’5 Live Sport’ (from 1 mins 1 secs)  
  • Poor mental health in lockdown most common among young women Young women are the most likely to have experienced high levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness in lockdown, compared to older adults, according to research from the UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS). (7 August 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  Mail Online ,  Independent ,  Listen: talkRadio’s ’Julia Hartley-Brewer Breakfast Show’ (from 10 mins 15 secs) ,  UCL News
  • Pandemic lockdown measures had ’negligible’ impact on climate change As a new study measuring the effects of the lockdown finds that the restrictions had a ’negligible’ impact on climate change, Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) agrees with researchers that that the lockdown measures were too short to make a positive impact. (7 August 2020) Read: Mail Online
  • Has Covid-19 threatened East London’s popularity? Commenting on London’s trendy east end, as young people desert the area and its night-time economy struggles to return to life following lockdown, Dr Tommaso Gabrieli (The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL) says the situation shouldn’t affect property demand too much. (6 August 2020) Read: FT (£)
  • London in Limbo: can the capital survive the crisis? In an op-ed on London’s economy, economist Gerard Lyons mentions analysis conducted with Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) and discusses three solutions that must be in place for London to stay out of lockdown. (6 August 2020) Read: Spectator  
  • Has the coronavirus pandemic killed social smoking? In a look at the pandemic’s impact on social smoking, Professor Robert West (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) explains addiction is created by forming associations between smoking and situations, which are repeated often enough to impulses to smoke. (5 August 2020) Read: Yahoo! News ,  Huffington Post
  • Do coronavirus apps work? Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws) contributes to a discussion on the weakness of some track and tracing mobile apps, how out of a desire to protect users’ data privacy, the apps have been ’blind’ to case of potential exposure of the coronavirus Covid-19. (5 August 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  ,  Yahoo! News ,  Straits Times  
  • Lockdown having ’pernicious impact’ on LGBT community’s mental health A study led by Dr Dylan Kneale (UCL Institute of Education) and Sussex University found that the Covid-19 pandemic is having a serious negative impact on people’s mental health from the LGBT community, with many feeling isolated and without a strong support network. (5 August 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: MSN News
  • Are the 90 minute tests for Covid-19 a game changer? Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) speaks about the two new rapid diagnostic tests for Covid-19 and adds that for health officials to make responsible decisions, they need the data from tests like these, but also should use transparent messaging. (4 August 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  Guardian ,  Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Ian Payne Show’ (from 36 mins and 30 secs)  
  • Testing and tracing must be scaled-up to prevent second COVID-19 wave A second COVID-19 peak can be prevented if enough people are tested and traced with schools opening and more people returning to workplaces, finds research co-led by Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. (4 August 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Times (£) ,  New York Times (£) ,  Washington Post (£) ,  Independent ,  BBC News ,  Mail Online ,  Evening Standard ,  City A.M. ,  Sun ,  Mirror ,  Mirror (2) ,  Fr24 News ,  iNews ,  Metro ,  Daily Star ,  Yahoo! News ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  MSN News ,  Sky News ,  Mail Online (2) ,  New Scientist ,  TES ,  ,  National Post (Canada) ,  Deccan Herald ,  Times of India ,  Express ,  Express (2) ,  BMJ ,  CNN ,  Herald Scotland ,  Reuters ,  Times (£) (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Yahoo! News (3) ,  Wales Online ,  ITV News ,  Telegraph (£) (3) ,  Irish Times ,  BBC News (2) (Turkey) ,  Huffington Post ,  Guardian ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Evening Standard (2) ,  City A.M. (2) ,  Express (2) ,  Telegraph (£) (4) ,  Times (£) (2) ,  AOL News ,  BBC Science Focus ,  Spectator ,  MSN News (2) ,  MSN (3) ,  Mail Online (5) ,  Mail Online (6) ,  Express (3) ,  MSN News (2) ,  Evening Standard (2) ,  Express (4) ,  Express (5) ,  Mail Online (7) ,  Mail Online (8) ,  AOL News ,  MSN News (2) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hrs 2 min 18 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Dotun Adebayo Show’ (from 2 hours 32 secs) ,  BBC World Service Radio’s ’Newsday’ (from 1 min 15 secs) ,  LBC Radio’s ’Steve Allen Show’ (from 30 mins 35 secs) ,  LBC Radio’s ’Nick Abbot Show’ (from 4 min 50 secs) ,  LBC Radio’s ’Eddie Mair Show’ (from 17 mins 8 secs) ,  BBC Radio 2’s ’Jeremy Vine Show’ (from 5 mins 53 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’PM Show’ (from 30 mins 38 secs) ,  LBC Radio’s ’Ian Payne Show’ (from 3 mins 52 secs) ,  Watch: ITV 1’s ’Lorraine’ (from 1 min 38 secs) ,  More: BBC’s ’News at One’ (from 25 secs) ,  LBC Radio’s ’Jim Diamond Show’ (from 36 mins 10 secs) ,  UCL News #&op

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  • Not everyone in coronavirus-hit family prone to disease In a close look at how some people have managed to avoid becoming infected with Covid-19, Professor Karl Friston’s (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) ’immunological black hole’ theory is referenced, which suggests that half the population is not susceptible to the virus. (4 August 2020) Read: Hindustan Times  
  • Discharged Covid-19 patients developing psychiatric disorders Following a report that increasing numbers of recovered Covid-19 patients later developed a psychiatric disorder, a study led by Dr Michael Zandi (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) is mentioned for its findings of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) in children. (4 August 2020) Read: Mail Online  
  • UK virologists criticise handling of Covid-19 testing contracts In a letter to Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) and almost 70 other virologists raise concerns about how the UK Government is awarding testing contracts to private companies. (4 August 2020) Read: Guardian   
  • Track-and-trace fails to reach half of simple contacts Commenting on the government’s track-and-trace programme’s failure to reach more than half of "non-complex" contacts named by infected patients Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) says the programme needs a complete "rethink". (3 August 2020) Read: Times (£) ,  More:  FT (£) ,  Mail Online (9) ,  Independent
  • NHS to roll out ’Covid-friendly’ cancer drugs to clear backlog of treatment A study from Professor Harry Hemingway (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) is referenced as having examined the number of cancer patients who had missed appointments due to Covid-19 and, as a result, an estimated 6270 more deaths this year could occur as a result. (3 August 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)  
  • Experts share doubts about coronavirus 90-minute tests As two new diagnostic tests are reported to take only 90 minutes to determine if a patient has Covid-19, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) joins experts in expressing doubts about these tests, as they have not been fully evaluated before purchasing. (3 August 2020) Read: Guardian   
  • COVID-19 vaccine won’t help if people don’t trust it Senior Teaching Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) shares concerns at how fast Covid-19 vaccine development is progressing, as "We can’t really afford to cut corners in this process, specifically because there is so much momentum behind an anti-science movement." (3 August 2020) Read: Japan Times  
  • Government ’wasted time’ designing ventilators for Covid-19 patients Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) criticises the UK Government’s early initiative to redesign ventilators for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding they "would take a long time to get through the regulatory process." (3 August 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)   
  • What’s the environmental cost of PPE? Professor Mark Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering) explains how the successful reusable plastic initiatives have stopped with the increase in single-use plastics like disposable utensils and PPE, and explains how many of these are being disposed of unsafely, creating hazards. (3 August 2020) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’Newshour’ (from 20 mins)  
  • Less than half of people in England understand current lockdown rules Under half (45%) of people in England report having a ’broad understanding’ of the current lockdown rules, compared to 90% across the UK during the strict lockdown period, finds UCL’s Covid-19 Social Study, led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (31 July 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Sun ,  Metro ,  New European (£) ,  AOL News ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Guardian ,  Express ,  Yahoo! News ,  Mail Online (4)  ,  Mirror ,  Wales Online ,  Wales Online (2) ,  Telegraph (£) (3) ,  Sun (2) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Dotun Adebayo Show’ (from 1 hour 1 min 17 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 19 mins 50 secs) ,  LBC Radio’s ’Nick Ferrari Show’ (from 2 hours 36 min 15 secs) ,  Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Shelagh Fogarty Show’ (from 2 hours 11 min 2 secs) ,  Express (2) ,  Guardian (2) ,  Times (£) ,  Guardian (3) ,  MSN News ,  Huffington Post ,  Express (3) ,  Mirror ,  Independent ,  Washington Post (£) ,  Watch: Channel 4’s ’News Programme’ (from 6 mins 2 secs) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Five Live Breakfast’ (from 47 mins 18 secs) ,  UCL News
  • Will a heatwave kill off or slow down coronavirus? Dr Rob Aldridge (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) discusses the chances of a heat wave slowing transmission of Covid-19 and adds that while there could be lower transmission rates "this may reverse in the winter if there is still a large susceptible population at that point." (31 July 2020) Read: Yahoo! News
  • Excess Covid-19 deaths - how does the UK compare to other nations? In response to statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the number of excess deaths from Covid-19, Professor Francis Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains this may be because the UK experienced more widespread instances of the epidemic. (31 July 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 36 mins 6 secs)
  • Hours worked dropped by 40% in lockdown The number of hours worked in Britain dropped significantly in lockdown, with mothers most likely to sacrifice work for home schooling and developmental play, finds research co-authored by Professor Francis Green and Professor Emla Fitzsimons (both UCL Institute of Education). (30 July 2020) More: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Daily Mail ,  i News ,  FT ,  Telegraph ,  AOL News ,  MSN News ,  iNews ,  FT (£) (2) ,  Guardian ,  Times (£) ,  UCL News
  • UCL team awarded £1.4m to assess Covid-19 infection risk in BAME communities A team led by Dr Rob Aldridge (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) has been awarded £1.4m to encourage 12,000 people from BAME backgrounds to sign up to the Virus Watch study, which looks at the factors leading to increased cases of Covid-19 in BAME groups. (29 July 2020) Read: Guardian   
  • How to be eco-friendly in a pandemic Professor Mark Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering) discusses the environmental impact of disposable plastic gloves and points out that wearing them in public does not limit the spread of Covid-19. (29 July 2020) Read: Guardian   
  • Absolutely no guarantee antibodies will work Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) speaks with Bloomberg TV about whether antibodies in vaccines will help patients infected with Covid-19, the ’overreaction’ of people’s bodies to the coronavirus, and the social distancing measure applied by schools to protect students. (29 July 2020) Watch: Bloomberg TV
  • Earlier lockdown would have saved lives of London bus drivers, suggests review An independent review into the deaths of London bus drivers from Covid-19, led by Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health), suggests an earlier lockdown would have saved lives. (28 July 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Metro ,  Guardian ,  ITV News ,  Evening Standard ,  Mail Online ,  LBC News ,  AOL News ,  Morning Star ,  Yahoo! News ,  MSN News ,  Irish Examiner ,  This is Money ,  i News ,  Watch: BBC London News (from 15 secs) ,  UCL News
  • Pandemic drives boom in ’air button’ technologies As some companies scramble to design contactless technological features for their products, Dr Marianna Obrist (UCL Computer Science) explains how one feature, ’mid-air haptics’, works by adapting ultrasound speakers to "make them perceivable on the non-hairy part of your skin." (28 July 2020) Read: FT (£)
  • The rise of anti-mask backlash Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discusses why a minority of people are resistant to wearing facemasks, and says that wearing masks may make shops and public transport feel less friendly, as we require seeing the entire face to detect emotions. (28 July 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Yahoo! News   
  • Cat confirmed as having contracted Covid-19 In response to a cat having contracted Covid-19, Professor Joanne Santini (UCL Biosciences) comments how more research is necessary to determine the risks facing people, saying "even though we don’t have evidence for pet transmission, we don’t know whether this is possible." (28 July 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Drive’ (from 2 hours 1 minute 18 secs)  
  • Mask wearers do not skip other measures, study finds A study has found that wearers of facemasks are unlikely to skip or decrease use of other safety measures to prevent Covid spread, although there might still be situations where "risk compensation" occurs, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (27 July 2020) Read: Times (£) ,  More: Mail Online   
  • Thermal imaging cameras don’t detect fever Thermal imaging cameras are on the rise in hotels, airports and other public spaces however are not yet medically capable of detecting fever and therefore if someone is infectious, says Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering). (27 July 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Is the UK government marginalising scientists? Independent SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) questions whether replacing SAGE with the Joint Biosecurity Centre to advise the UK Government on Covid-19 is wise as it is separate from the UK public health infrastructure. (24 July 2020) Read: BMJ
  • Analysing coronavirus dreams On the topic of interpreting Covid-19 anxiety, Postgraduate Researcher Jake Roberts (UCL Psychoanalysis Unit) discusses the UCL Lockdown Dreams Project, which has analysed over 700 of people’s dreams during the Covid-19 lockdown. (22 July 2020) Read: i News
  • Managing the Covid-19 crisis from the kitchen table Professor Anthony Smith, UCL’s Vice-Provost (education and student affairs) shares how communication, baking and even James Bond have helped him manage the Covid-19 pandemic from his kitchen table. (22 July 2020) Read: THE ,  More: UCL News
  • We need clear Covid-19 vaccine messaging to convince anti-vaxxers On the topic of vaccines being developed for Covid-19, Professor Helen Bedford (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) says that the uptake of child vaccines went down during the lockdown, and states how clear messaging is essential to handle anti-vaccine sentiment. (21 July 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Shelagh Fogarty Show’ (from 10 mins 45 secs)
  • Covid-19 vaccine trial off to a promising start Early results of a trial to produce a vaccine for Covid-19 could be the "biggest breakthrough" in fighting the disease so far, says Professor Francis Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) with virus-fighting antibodies found in 90% of participants. (21 July 2020) Read: Metro ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • How ’herd immunity’ became the UK’s response to Covid Prior to lockdown, ’herd immunity’ was pursued as a response to the threat of Covid-19 despite warnings from scientists, including Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health), against using the concept as a public health strategy. (21 July 2020) Read: BBC News
  • Don’t use deaths as indicator for Covid-19 strategy Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) answers questions about whether social distancing measures in the UK will be fully relaxed by Christmas and suggests that the UK could follow the strategies used by Scotland and Northern Ireland. (20 July 2020) Watch: Newsnight
  • Does simple messaging mean a decline in the UK’s infection rates? Professor Robert West (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) criticises the mixed messaging from the UK Government on social distancing, urging people to be cautious and make safe hygiene practices part of their daily lives. (20 July 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 47 mins 41 secs)
  • Facemask use shows social responsibility As Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s efforts to shape health policies during the Covid-19 pandemic come under scrutiny, Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) praises people wearing facemasks in the UK, stating "a strong sense of social responsibility" is at work. (20 July 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Face masks with breathing valves risk spreading coronavirus Honorary Lecturer Dr Ben Killingley (UCL Institute of Global Health) explains how face masks featuring breathing valves protect the wearer from coming into contact with droplets, but don’t necessarily stop ones from exiting the mask as the person breathes. (20 July 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Daily UK death toll paused amid claims numbers are ’exaggerated’ Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) questions the health secretary’s decision to review how Public Health England (PHE) calculates deaths from Covid-19, as their methods are clearly stated on their website. (20 July 2020) Read: Metro ,  More: Express
  • Spillover: the origins of Covid-19 In a look at how infectious diseases like Ebola and Covid-19 are thought to have originated in animal hosts, Dr David Redding (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains species often share pathogens, and "it is through this process that viruses naturally mutate and evolve." (20 July 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Are mutations making Covid-19 more infectious? As reports state that the strain of Covid-19 currently infecting people has mutated since originating in Wuhan, China, Dr Lucy van Dorp (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) suggests that the controversial ’founder effect’ theory may be behind the mutation. (20 July 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: BBC News Afrique
  • No easy route to developing a coronavirus vaccine Ordinarily it can take a decade to bring a new vaccine to market, with only one in 10 drugs that enter clinical trials making it to market, explains Professor Suzanne Farid (UCL Biochemical Engineering). (20 July 2020) Read: Politico (USA)
  • We should be careful around animals where Covid-19 is concerned Professor Sarah Edwards (UCL Science & Technology Studies) discusses the possibility of wildlife and pets harbouring Covid-19, and explains "we shouldn’t be too surprised if there is some as yet undetected transmission to and between animals." (20 July 2020) Read: i News
  • Discarded rubbish helps Covid spread Pets and wildlife that come in contact with discarded rubbish infected by the coronavirus might contribute to its spread among humans, say Professor Sarah Edwards (UCL Science & Technology Studies) and Professor Joanne Santini (UCL Biosciences). (17 July 2020) Read: i News
  • How do you travel safely during a pandemic? Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) offers guidance about the risks and how best to minimise them, and how air ventilation differs between trains and planes. (17 July 2020)
  • Too soon for staff to return to work Commenting on employees returning to offices following lockdown, Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) says it is too soon and we should instead wait until we know how more recent easing has impacted Covid-19 spread. (17 July 2020) Listen: LBC (from 2 hours 9 minutes 49 seconds)
  • Friendships and relationships worsen during Covid-19 lockdown A quarter of people have reported their relationships with colleagues and co-workers have worsened over lockdown, and a fifth have said their friendships outside of their household have also got worse, finds a study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (16 July 2020) Read: Independent ,  More: Mail Online ,  Scotsman ,  UCL News
  • Coronavirus: England’s R number is creeping up - does that mean a second wave is on the way? Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) discusses the R number, the possibility of a second wave and whether Covid-19 has superspreading potential. (15 July 2020) Read: Conversation ,  More: UCL News
  • Sadiq Khan on wearing face masks London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks about the collaboration between Transport for London (TFL) and UCL to determine how TFL can best protect its public transport staff and passengers during the Covid-19 pandemic. (15 July 2020) Watch: Joe TV
  • Points-based tool to assess health worker Covid-19 risk Commenting on a checklist to identify at-risk healthcare workers, Professor Nishi Chaturvedi (UCL MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing) says the tool’s drawbacks include results not being additive, and risk being relative to w

    hite, 40-something women. (15 July 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Around 5,000 fewer heart attack admissions to English hospitals ’due to coronavirus’ Only two-thirds of expected admissions to hospital with heart attacks in England took place at the end of March 2020, finds a new collaborative study involving Professor John Deanfield (UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science). (15 July 2020) Read: ITV News
  • A million smokers kick the habit during pandemic More than one million people have given up smoking, and another 440,000 have tried, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, analysis of a UCL study by anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health has found. (15 July 2020) Read: i News ,  More: BBC News ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Independent ,  ITV News ,  Sky news ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Dotun Adebayo Show’ (from 3 hours 45 mins 42 secs) ,  More: BBC World Service Radio’s ’The Newsroom’ (from 19 min 55 secs) ,  LBC Radio News’ ’Lisa Aziz Show’ (from 2 hours 53 mins 17 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’Today programme’ (from 1 hour 8 mins 25 secs) ,  Daily Star
  • Covid-19 immunity may only last a few months As a new study indicates that immunity in patients recovered from Covid-19 may only last a few months, Professor Mala Maini (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains "This study does reinforce the message that we can’t assume someone who has had Covid-19 can’t get it again." (14 July 2020) Read: Metro ,  More: Morning Star ,  Mail Online
  • Disposable face masks could create mountain of contaminated waste Professor Mark Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering) explains how if people in the UK used a single-use mask each day for a year, it would not only create up to 66,000 tonnes of contaminated waste, but people handling the waste would also face a high risk of infection. (14 July 2020) Read: Guardian ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’You and Yours’ (from 14 mins 43 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast Show’ (from 2 hours 53 mins 36 secs) ,  Yahoo! News
  • UCL academics question UK Government decision to ’blank’ Portugal Senior Teaching Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) and Dr Gianluca Pescaroli (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) suggest the UK Government’s decision to quarantine travellers from Portugal may be due to economic factors. (14 July 2020) Read: Portugal Resident ,  More: CM News (Portugal)
  • Prepare now for a winter Covid-19 peak, say UCL experts The UK must prepare now for a potential new wave of coronavirus infections this winter that could be more serious than the first, says a new Academy of Medical Sciences report involving eight experts from UCL including Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity). (14 July 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Times (£) ,  FT (£) ,  ITV News ,  Metro ,  New Scientist ,  Mail Online ,  Guardian ,  Medscape ,  Express ,  UCL News
  • Wearing a face mask in shops in England will become compulsory With reports confirming that people shopping in England will be required to wear face masks from 24 July or face fines of up to £100, Honorary Lecturer Dr Ben Killingley (UCL Institute of Global Health) suggests this requirement may be better timed for when people return to work. (14 July 2020) Listen: LBC Radio’s ’Steve Allen Show’ (from 34 secs)
  • Parliamentary commission should be established on Covid-19 The Commons public administration committee should propose a parliamentary commission to hold the Conservatives to account over their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, argues Emeritus Professor Tony Wright (UCL Political Science). (13 July 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • 3 in 5 adults who thought about self-harm or suicide received no mental health support in lockdown During the first month of lockdown only 42% of those thinking about self-harming or suicide and 57% of people who self-harmed had accessed mental health services, finds research led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (13 July 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  UCL News
  • Face masks could be made mandatory in shops Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health), Professor Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Science), Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) and Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) call for face masks to be mandatory in shops. (13 July 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Independent ,  Yahoo! News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 2’s ’Pick of the Pops’ (from 1 min 13 secs)
  • Young people overeating as they battle lockdown anxiety Led by Dr Lee Hudson (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) and his colleagues, the new You-COPE study finds that more young people are overeating to handle their anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic. (13 July 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Neurological symptoms of Covid-19 often caused by immune system affecting the brain As doctors see growing numbers of neurological symptoms of Covid-19, Professor Anthony David (UCL Psychiatry) explains that these are usually caused by the immune system, rather than the virus itself getting into the brain. (10 July 2020) Read: Mail Online
  • Farewell to the handshake In a socially distanced interview, Independent SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains how each year hundreds die from seasonal influenza and stresses that people must change their social habits to avoid transmitting viruses. (10 July 2020) Watch: BBC Breakfast (from 2 hours 53 mins 8 secs) ,  More: BBC News
  • Cystic fibrosis drug trialled to fight inflammation caused by COVID-19 Patients with COVID-19 will be given the cystic fibrosis drug ’Dornase alfa’ to determine if it can help improve survival by reducing excess inflammation in the lungs, as part of a trial co-led by UCL and the Francis Crick Institute. (10 July 2020) Read: Evening Standard ,  More: UCL News
  • Why are Black and South Asian people more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19? Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) explains that Black and South Asian people are more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19 for multiple reasons, including structural, biological, and behavioural factors. (9 July 2020) Watch: BBC Breakfast (from 1 hour 54 mins 28 secs)
  • Scientists reject PM’s claims over virus transmission In response to the Prime Minister’s claims that no one knew Covid-19 could be transmitted asymptomatically, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) rejects this, stating "quite early on there was good data that showed asymptomatic transmission was occurring." (9 July 2020) Read: i News
  • London’s future: the post-lockdown village As businesses start to reopen, Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) adds to a discussion on how this is an opportunity for people to support their local shops. He says: "We are social animals and the high street needs to provide us with community." (9 July 2020) Read: Evening Standard
  • Sage sidelined as Government takes direct control of coronavirus response With reports stating that the Joint Biosecurity Centre will lead the UK Government’s response to the coronavirus, Independent SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) questions this decision and says, "we know little about this new body". (9 July 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • "Not enough conditionality" for industries borrowing funds On the topic of the UK’s latest £30bn stimulus package in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) asserts that countries are borrowing money but without enough conditionality attached. (9 July 2020) Watch: Channel 4
  • Increase in delirium, rare brain inflammation and stroke linked to Covid-19 Neurological complications of Covid-19 can include delirium, brain inflammation, stroke and nerve damage, finds a study by Dr Michael Zandi, Dr Hadi Manji, Dr Ross Paterson and Dr Rachel Brown (all UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, Dr Brown also UCL Infection & Immunity). (8 July 2020) Read: The Guardian ,  More: Daily Mail ,  New York Times ,  CNN ,  Reuters ,  Metro ,  Telegraph  (£) ,  NBC News ,  Yahoo News ,  Metro ,  The Conversation ,  Evening Standard ,  Times  (£) ,  Sun ,  Independent ,  Mirror ,  El Pais (Spain) ,  El Mundo (Spain) ,  News18 (India) ,  Hindustan Times ,  CTV News (Canada) ,  Global News (Canada) ,  Straits Times ,  Sydney Morning Herald ,  Jakarta Post ,  Jerusalem Post ,  Malay Mail ,  BBC Science Focus ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Khaleej Times ,  Vice ,  Independent.ie ,  MSN News ,  Nursing Times ,  ABC (Spain) ,  Newsweek ,  Le Figaro ,  Mirror ,  UCL News
  • Once a vaccine is safe, how do experts convince the public to take it? Independent SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains how it’s not just a matter of educating the public but also handling public doubts and obstruction from the anti-vaccination lobby to convince people to take a Covid-19 vaccine. (8 July 2020) Listen: LBC’s ’Nick Ferrari Show’ (from 2 hours 15 secs)
  • Concerns over fresh coronavirus wave Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) answers questions about possible US strategies for dealing with Covid-19, and adds to a debate on vaccines, stressing that it may not be effective or a "shot for life", and how some followers of the anti-vaccine movement may not take one at all. (8 July 2020) Watch: Bloomberg
  • Will we see a rise in the ’cruise to nowhere’- As brief ’cruises to nowhere’ gain popularity with holidaymakers, Dr Tristan Smith (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) adds that whilst these will help reduce overcrowding, they "are unlikely to significantly assist the air pollution, GHG, presence". (7 July 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • Reducing barriers to data access for research in the public interest In a joint letter, Research Fellow Francesca Cavallaro, Associate Professor Katie Harron (both UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) and their colleagues explain how the Covid-19 pandemic has generated an urgency to improve data access. (7 July 2020) Read: BMJ ,  More: UCL News
  • Summer months could be window of opportunity for coronavirus research As fears of a possible second wave of Covid-19 grow, Dr Nigel Field (UCL Institute for Global Health) explains how the summer months could give researchers a chance to study and learn how to possibly suppress the coronavirus’s transmission, which could protect healthcare workers. (7 July 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Six o’clock News’ (from 14 mins 42 secs)
  • Why the Covid-19 recovery needs a proactive public sector Professor Mariana Mazzucato and Martha Mcpherson (both UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) discuss global economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and stress that it offers a chance to re-evaluate the exchange between the public and private sectors. (7 July 2020) Read: New Statesman
  • Polar explorers and astronauts share how isolation affected them Whether it’s working on a polar ice rig, the international space station or isolated at home, Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care) explains the common features of isolation that people share, and adds how people are handling the lockdown. (6 July 2020) Read: i News
  • Did China find clues to the coronavirus in 2013? In response to a report that a close relative to the coronavirus Covid-10 was discovered seven years ago, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains "understanding how this happens allows us to respond quicker to cross-species transmission in the future." (6 July 2020) Read: Sunday Times ,  More: Express ,  Listen: Times Radio’s ’Jenny Kleeman and Luke Jones with Times Radio Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 9 min)
  • Coronavirus: Why Singapore turned to wearable contact-tracing tech In a discussion on Singapore’s contact-tracing TraceTogether Tokens, Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws) warns of the dangers to privacy: "All you have to do is install physical infrastructure in the world and the data that is collecting can be mapped back to Singapore ID numbers." (6 July 2020) Read: BBC News
  • Britons urged to ’forgo foreign holidays’ by leading scientists Independent SAGE member Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) adds to a conversation on holidays and agrees with experts that British holidaymakers should have ’staycations’ and keep their trips local to Great Britain. (6 July 2020) Read: Yahoo! News
  • Is Boris Johnson’s father undermining coronavirus measures with Greek visit? As Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s father gains public criticism for visiting his property in Greece, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) praises the safety measures Greece has set in place to protect its people, including quarantine restrictions for UK visitors. (6 July 2020) Read: Independent
  • We must change our behaviours gradually to defeat the virus With some experts concerned that social distancing may be ignored, Gerard Lyons mentions Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) and how they recommend gradual behavioural changes for easing lockdown measures. (6 July 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any questions’’ (from 8 mins 44 secs)
  • Levels of depression and anxiety higher amongst those from BAME backgrounds during lockdown People from BAME backgrounds have had higher levels of depression and anxiety throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, as well as lower levels of happiness and life satisfaction, finds a study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care). (3 July 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: UCL News
  • How students will learn post-Covid University teaching after the Covid-19 pandemic should blend online delivery methods with face-to-face group discussions, says Professor Allison Littlejohn (UCL Institute of Education) in a panel discussion on post-pandemic learning. (3 July 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Coronavirus is a multi-system disease Senior Teaching Fellow Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) answers questions about the long-term health effects of Covid-19 and explains "we do have to learn how to co-exist with the virus until a vaccine is developed". (3 July 2020) Watch: Bloomberg
  • Covid support kit for rare dementia sufferers An article written by academics from UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology explains how UCL’s Rare Dementia Support Service has launched a Covid-19 emergency kit with increased call support and virtual buddying, following an increase in calls to the service during lockdown. (3 July 2020) Read: BMJ
  • Schools return plan can work Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) says the government’s plan to send children back to school in class or social ’bubbles’ can work with enough information and communication, however more needs to be done to improve testing and tracing. (3 July 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Drive’ (from 15 mins 19 secs)
  • Reducing two metre rule effectively ends social distancing Independent SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) shares her concerns that the reopening of pubs on 4 July could lead to people putting themselves at increased risk of catching Covid-19. (2 July 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Sun ,  Times (£)
  • Children with coronavirus may have neurological symptoms Children with coronavirus may have neurological symptoms in the absence of the respiratory ones typically associated with Covid-19, according to a new UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health study. (2 July 2020) Read: Yahoo! News
  • How the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we commute From deep cleaning and robots to emptier commuter trains, Professor Julio Davila (UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit) discusses some of the options transport authorities could implement to protect commutes from the risk of infection. (2 July 2020) Watch: Wall Street Journal Video (from 1 min 46 secs)
  • Fears of a "divisive society" if Coronavirus immunity passports are introduced Professor Robert West (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care) shares his concerns about the possible introduction of immunity passports, saying that "it could create a multi-tier society and increase levels of discrimination and inequity". (2 July 2020) Read: BBC News


  • Neoliberal policies drive UK and German Covid-19 response Commenting on criticism of the UK government’s response to coronavirus when compared to Germany’s, Emeritus Professor Frank Coffield (UCL Institute of Education) says the two countries share the same neoliberal policies and should tr y to learn from each other. (1 July 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo!  News



  • Privacy is not the problem with the Apple-Google contact-tracing app Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws) explains the ’decentralised’ approach of the Apple-Google contact-tracing system, the problems with the NHSX app, and why the infrastructural power given to big tech companies by contact-tracing tools should give us sleepless nights. (1 July 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: UCL News



  • How having a cold could protect against severe Covid-19 symptoms After a study found an immune response against Covid-19 in people with no experience of the disease, Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Biosciences) says that T-cell immunity, gained through prior coronavirus infections, such as colds, could provide an explanation. (1 July 2020) Read: Mail Online



  • The Post-Pandemic State In a discussion of the legacies of the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Geoff Mulgan (UCL STEaPP) asserts his belief that an overhaul of the UK Government’s involvement in social care will happen, with more efforts being made to help the elderly. (30 June 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Analysis’ (from 16 mins 57 secs)



  • Covid-19 and vaccine development Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) joins a panel of experts to answer questions on the work towards a vaccine for Covid-19 and how to avoid catching the virus in the time before any potential vaccine is available. (29 June 2020) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’The Evidence’ (from 1 min 10 secs)



  • How engineers are helping solve the problems caused by Covid-19 Professor Rebecca Shipley (UCL Mechanical Engineering) takes part in a panel discussion on how engineering is helping during the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices manufactured by UCL, Mercedes-AMG HPP and UCLH. (29 June 2020) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’World Debate’ (from 2 mins 11 secs)



  • Mixed messaging and stress of booking holidays adds to Covid-19 fears While many are seeking lesser-known holiday spots for brief getaways, Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments that due to the UK Government’s mixed messaging "The act of booking a holiday will increase anxiety levels again." (29 June 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • Covid-19 Sample found in Barcelona waste water likely a mix-up Experts including Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) cast doubt on a university team’s claims to have found samples of Covid-19 in water, stating "The most plausible explanation is sample mix-up/contamination." (29 June 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Yahoo! News



  • COVID-19: National PTSD screening programme urgently needed Patients affected by COVID-19 need to be urgently screened for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and receive regular check-ups for at least a year. The ’call to action’ is led by UCL psychiatrists and psychologists including Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry). (29 June 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: BBC News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 3 mins 31 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 44 secs) ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’The Newsroom’ (from 12 mins 36 secs) ,  Telegraph (£) ,  BBC News (2) ,  Independent ,  UCL News



  • UK at risk of extra 30,000 deaths unless Government changes approach Independent Sage members including Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) warn that unless the UK Government changes their strategy, 30,000 more excess deaths from Covid-19 could occur by next year. (29 June 2020) Read: Star ,  More: Independent ,  Yahoo! News ,  Express ,  Mail Online ,  Guardian ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  Express (2) ,  Yahoo! News (3)



  • Which cultural activities are least likely to spread Covid-19? Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health) gives advice on which arts and music activities are most capable of making adjustments to avoid the spread of Covid-19, as well as which are unlikely to be safe until the pandemic is over. (29 June 2020) Read: Guardian



  • Can a coronavirus ’shielder’ find consolation in lockdown? Emeritus Professor John Sutherland (UCL English Language & Literature) authors an opinion article on isolating as a vulnerable person during lockdown, and cites numerous authors whose work has provided consolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. (29 June 2020) Read: Guardian



  • Taxi drivers ’unprotected’ against Covid-19 With no physical barrier separating taxi drivers from their passengers, drivers face a higher risk of infection. Dr Joe Grove (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains, "Even after they’ve left the car, the virus will remain." (26 June 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Evening Standard



  • Crypto AM’s community play their part in the war against COVID-19 Following the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices developed by a team run by Professor Rebecca Shipley (UCL Mechanical Engineering), the UCL-Ventura CPAP machine manufactured in Australia is featured in a piece promoting major inventions in combatting Covid-19. (26 June 2020) Read: City A.M.



  • Study shows Covid-19 is adapting to human hosts A genetic study of more than 7,500 patients infected with Covid-19 have shown that the virus may have been present as early as October 2019. Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains how the research found more than 200 genetic mutations. (26 June 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2)



  • Schools to scrap social distancing in September With schools set to reopen in September without social distancing measures in place, SAGE member and Honorary Lecturer Dr Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) suggests the UK Government run an information campaign to earn the trust of parents and teachers. (26 June 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • People are reading downgraded rules as a free pass As many people flock to beaches to enjoy the summer heat, Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) warns that people are interpreting the UK Government’s advice as a free pass to ignore social distancing rules. (26 June 2020) Read: Guardian



  • On balance a third of people in the UK have been enjoying the lockdown, while 46% have not been enjoying it and 21% have mixed feelings, finds UCL’s Covid-19 Social Study, led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care). (26 June 2020) Read: Telegraph,   More: Yahoo!,   Times,   I TV News ,  Mail Online ,  Evening Express ,  National ,  ThisIsMoney,   Listen: LBC News’ ’Lisa Aziz Show’ (from 1 hour 46 mins 48 secs) ,  More: LBC Radio’s ’Steve Allen Show’ (from 1 hour 1 min 44 secs) ,  LBC Radio’s ’Darren Adam Show’ (from 2 hours 2 mins 16 secs) ,  BBC News ,  UCL News



  • Why schools should invest in teachers’ wellbeing now PhD candidate Julia Manning (UCL Computer Science), who researches digital solutions for stress management in the context of secondary schools, describes the risks of the Covid-19 crisis to teachers’ mental health and how school leaders ought to invest in teacher wellbeing. (26 June 2020) Read: TES



  • Care home testing to launch to understand spread of COVID-19 Around 10,000 people who work or reside in care homes will be given repeat testing as part of a new UCL-led government cohort study. The research will be carried out by a team led by Dr Laura Shallcross (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (26 June 2020) Read: Times ,   More:  Evening Standard ,  UCL News



  • UK Government’s mixed messaging is dangerous In response to the high number of people disregarding social distancing rules at public beaches, Independent SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) tweets how the mixed messaging from the UK Government is dangerous. (26 June 2020) Read: Independent ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’The Emma Barnett Show’ (from 18 mins 22 secs)

  • How are our behaviours changing in lockdown? More than half of the UK population are now exercising or meditating at least once a day, finds a new study led by Dr Patty Kostkova (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) exploring how people are adapting their lifestyle during the Covid-19 pandemic. (25 June 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: UCL News
  • Tensions rise in Belarus over Covid-19 response Commenting on rising dissent in Belarus over the government’s poor handling of Covid-19 and in the lead-up to the national election in August, PhD researcher Tadeusz Giczan (UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies) describes the situation as a "slow-motion crisis". (25 June 2020) Read: New Statesman
  • Opinion: Children’s mental health will suffer irreparably if schools don’t reopen soon By missing out on support networks available at school, children are facing long-term consequences on their mental health, writes SAGE member and Honorary Lecturer Dr Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (25 June 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: UCL News
  • Staying safe whilst travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic Continuing to maintain your distance and returning home if anyone in your family feels ill are both ways to ensure health and safety standards when on a trip during the Covid-19 pandemic, says Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy). (25 June 2020) Read: CNBC
  • Is ’1 metre plus’ enough to stop Covid spread? Commenting on the relaxation of England’s social distancing rules to one metre plus one mitigating measure, Dr Zeshan Qureshi (UCL Institute of Global Health) says the reduction is still a concern as it is most likely to take place in high risk areas, such as pubs and bars. (24 June 2020) Read: ITV News
  • Are people at risk from easing lockdown? With lockdown measures set to ease, Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health), Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) and Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) share their concerns about whether now is the right time to relax restrictions. (24 June 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Six o’Clock News’ (from 8 min 38 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 6 mins 48 secs) ,  BBC World Service’s ’The Newsroom’ (from 12 min 42 secs) ,  BBC Radio 2’s ’Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ (from 58 mins 33 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 36 mins 45 secs) ,  Watch: BBC News Special’s ’Coronavirus Daily Update’ (from 13 min 12 secs) ,  More: BBC 2’s ’Newsnight’ (from 15 mins 51 secs)
  • What can we expect from pubs as lockdown eases? Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) answers questions about what changes to services people can expect when visiting restaurants, pubs and cinemas once the lockdown eases on 4 July. (24 June 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 8 mins 55 secs)
  • Covid-19 vaccine may not work for at-risk older people In a discussion on whether young people should be vaccinated against Covid-19 to protect their elderly relatives, Professor Arne Akbar (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains how older patients might require a combination of treatments to protect from the virus. (24 June 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Weighing up the benefits and pitfalls of wearing masks Incorrect use, reduced public perception of Covid-19 risk and environmental concerns are drawbacks that could follow the introduction of masks as a public health measure. Dr Olga Perski (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) explains some possible pitfalls of the rule. (24 June 2020) Read: Metro
  • How far is far enough to prevent the spread of Covid-19? As England prepares to ease social distancing measures aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19, Associate Professor Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) discusses some of the factors in deciding how far we should be distancing to minimise transmission. (24 June 2020) Read: Mirror
  • Minimising the impact of a coronavirus second wave With infection rates increasing around the world, health providers are looking at ways a second wave of the virus can be avoided. Professor Karl Friston (UCL Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging) explains that our memory of the first wave should make the second wave less severe. (24 June 2020) Read: Daily Star
  • Room for improvement: first NHS Test and Trace figures released Figures from the NHS’s contact tracing program found that more than 30% of those who tested positive for Covid-19 were not reached. Experts agree the system is not perfect however, Professor Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) says the program is still "off to a good start". (24 June 2020) Read: BMJ


  • Why doctors say UK is better prepared for a second wave of coronavirus In an article on the medical advancements made in treating patients infected with Covid-19, Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine) comments on the positive results so far of using the steroid Dexamethasone. (23 June 2020) Read: Yahoo! News ,  More: Guardian



  • UK public ’supports green recovery from coronavirus crisis’ In advance of a Climate Assembly UK report which suggests that people support lifestyle changes to reduce carbon emissions, Professor Jim Watson (UCL Bartlett School Environment, Energy & Resources) adds that the public is in favour of government action on the issue. (23 June 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: ITV News ,  MSN News ,  AOL News



  • New study into Covid-19 transmission and immunity launched Virus Watch, led by Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health), is inviting 42,500 people to take part in one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of Covid-19 in the UK to investigate the next phase of the pandemic. (23 June 2020) Read: i News ,  More: UCL News



  • Virus ’no respecter of national borders’ As Covid-19 cases rise elsewhere in the world, Professor Sarah Hawkes (UCL Institute for Global Health) discusses the pandemic and reminds listeners that "this is a global virus that is no respecter of national borders." (23 June 2020) Read: BBC News



  • Too soon to reduce social distancing rule   With the UK Government expected to halve social distancing rules to one metre, Independent SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments on why it is too soon for this recommendation to be implemented. ( 22 June 2020 ) Listen: LBC’s ’Chris Golds Show’ (from 2 hours 23 mins 22 secs)



  • Origin of new Beijing Covid-19 outbreak unclear Based on the data available, the new outbreak of Covid-19 in Beijing was circulating for some time before being identified, meaning it "could have originated from essentially anywhere," says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Biosciences). (19 June 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2) ,  Gulf Times (Qatar)



  • Scrapping of UK’s Coronavirus contact-tracing app is welcome move Professor Michael Veale (UCL Laws) comments on how ministers’ decision to abandon NHS contact-tracing app and favour an app widely used in other countries "is a welcome, if heavily and unnecessarily delayed, move". (19 June 2020) Read: Times ,  More: Telegraph,   Metro,   Daily Express,   Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World at One’ (from 13 minutes 24 seconds) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Saturday Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 47 mins 57 secs) ,  Watch: BBC’s ’Newsnight’ (from 5 mins 29 secs)



  • Adults remain at home despite lockdown easing People in the UK are continuing to spend several days a week at home, despite lockdown measures being eased, finds a Covid-19 social study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (18 June 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’All in the Mind’ (from 3 mins 15 secs) ,  Read: Mail Online ,  More: UCL News



  • ’COVID-19 free’ hospitals to end cancer surgery backlog A ’COVID-19 free’ hospital, set up to carry out non -emergency cancer surgeries, operated on 500 consecutive patients, resulting in no coronavirus-related deaths at 30 days, finds study led by Professor John Kelly & Dr Veeru Kasivisvanathan (UCL Surgery & Interventional Sciences). (17 June 2020) Read: The Independent ,  More: Evening Standard ,  Watch: Sky News



  • Beijing restricts travel to halt new coronavirus outbreak As Beijing resumes strict lockdown rules due to the emergence of a new outbreak of the coronavirus, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains that genetic sequencing will show whether the virus originated in China or elsewhere. (17 June 2020) Read: Guardian



  • Is a loss of biodiversity responsible for Covid-19? Prince Charles’ view that epidemics may be linked to the "encroachment of man" on habitats "falls under the ’plausible theory/hypothesis’ range," rather than being a certainty, says Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Health Informatics). (17 June 2020) Read: Express



  • Racism means minorities harder hit by virus As a report suggests that BAME communities face a disproportionately higher risk of contracting Covid-19, Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) and Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) add that socioeconomic inequalities are also factors. (17 June 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Metro ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World at One’ (from 38 mins 40 secs)



  • Steroid drug major Coronavirus treatment breakthough Dexamethasone has been found to cut the risk of dying from Coronavirus among seriously ill patients by up to a third. Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medical Sciences) explains how the drug works and why the discovery of its effectiveness in treating the disease is so important. (17 June 2020) Watch: BBC News (from 36 mins 59 secs)



  • Urgent testing, tracing, and isolation could save lives and economy Population-wide testing, contact tracing, and isolation (PTTI) in the UK could save 50,000 lives and £700bn of GDP over the next two years, finds research co-led by Dr Tim Colbourn (UCL Institute for Global Health), University of Edinburgh and University of Haifa. (16 June 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Independent ,  New Statesman ,  AOL News ,  UCL News



  • UK data ethics body support for ’immunity passports’ criticised The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation’s report supporting immunity passports, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned might lead to further spread of Covid-19, "barely touches" on how the passports would be used and what for, says Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws). (16 June 2020) Read: New Statesman



  • Aid those self-isolating or test and trace will fail Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) and SAGE member and Honorary Lecturer Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) advocate calls for the UK Government to issue a financial support package for self-isolating individuals. (15 June 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News



  • How will Covid-19 impact businesses? As Cuba’s economy is discussed, Dr Emily Morris (UCL Institute of the Americas) answers questions on the impact of the coronavirus on private business owners, and explains how a continued lockdown will create hardship for unemployed workers. (15 June 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World Tonight’ (from 41 mins 12 secs)



  • Children doing 2.5 hours’ schoolwork a day on average Children locked down at home in the UK spend an average of 2.5 hours each day doing schoolwork, finds study by Professor Francis Green (UCL Institute of Education). (15 June 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: BBC News ,  Times (£) ,  Daily Mail ,  Sun ,  ITV News ,  Independent ,  Sky News ,  Telegraph ,  Guardian (2) ,  i News ,  Spectator ,  Spectator (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  Express ,  Metro ,  MSN ,  Schools Week ,  TES ,  Times (2) (£) ,  Guardian (3) ,  AOL ,  Telegraph (2) (£) ,  Times (3) (£) ,  BBC Newsround ,  Telegraph (3) ,  Independent (2) ,  New Statesman ,  Telegraph (£) ,  BBC News ,  New Statesman (2) ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mirror ,  Mirror (2) ,  Sun (2) ,  Sun (3)  ,  Daily Star ,  Wales Online ,  Watch: ITV’s ’Good Morning Britain’ (from 4 mins 58 secs) ,  Five’s ’Jeremy Vine’ (from 38 mins 34 secs) ,  Listen: LBC News (from 1 hour 21 mins 24 secs) ,  UCL News



  • Pupils under lockdown may face obesity risk Professor Russell Viner (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) describes the long-term health effects the lockdown may have on children, and raises concerns about fading healthy eating habits and the suspected rise in obesity as the pandemic continues. (15 June 2020)   Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mirror



  • Lockdown 2m rule isn’t a rule at all As the 2m rule for preventing Covid-19 spread comes under scrutiny, members of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) including Honorary Lecturer Dr Ben Killingley (UCL Institute of Global Health) suggest the distance was a precaution, not a rule. ( 12 June 2020 ) Read: Mail Online



  • Coronavirus: five reasons why the death toll is so high Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) gives a list of how the UK Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic went awry, and discusses how further deaths might be prevented if a second waves occurs. ( 12 June 2020 ) Read: Metro ,  More: Conversation ,  UCL News



  • Coherent strategy needed to regain public trust The UK strategy of lifting Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in a seemingly piecemeal fashion has led to confusion and resentment amongst many people, and a coherent strategy for moving forward is needed, argues Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). ( 12 June 2020 ) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 29 mins 2 secs)



  • Test & trace system still not ready to replace lockdown The test & trace system which is designed to help ease lockdown "still has a long way to go," before it is ready for mass rollout, explains Dr Tim Colbourn (UCL Institute for Global Health). ( 12 June 2020 ) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Question Time Extra Time’ (from 2 hours 18 secs)



  • Worries about catching Covid-19 stay low as lockdown eases Despite the relaxation of lockdown measures enabling many people to return to more normal activities, worries about catching the virus show little sign of changing, finds a Covid-19 social study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). ( 12 June 2020 ) Read: Mail Online ,  More: UCL News



  • School closures may undo years of social mobility As school closures come under scrutiny, research from UCL and the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) is mentioned as having surveyed over 4000 parents. The survey found that children from affluent households received more attention and supervision than poorer families. ( 11 June 2020 ) Read: Mail Online



  • Should the Covid-19 lockdown 2m rule be dropped? Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) discusses the science behind the rule of staying 2m apart to prevent virus spread, as well as explaining that the further apart people are, the less chance there is of infected droplets spreading. ( 11 June 2020 ) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Your Call’ (from 10 mins 57 secs)



  • Governments need to maintain public trust during pandemic With tracing apps requiring the use of mobile phone data by governments, it is important they maintain public trust to ensure measures are effective, something which New Zealand has managed well, says Professor Geoff Mulgan (UCL STEaPP). ( 11 June 2020 ) Read: The National (UAE)



  • Government’s Covid-19 response discriminates against BAME and migrants groups The UK Government’s ’hostile environment’ policy response to COVID-19 is harming Black, Asian and minority ethnic and migrant groups, according to global health experts led by UCL and Newcastle University. ( 11 June 2020 ) Read: Metro ,  More: AOL News ,  Yahoo! News,  UCL News



  • Unlicensed Covid-19 medicines must be avoided As the accuracy of the UK’s antibody tests is criticised, Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) stresses that these tests must meet regulatory standards to avoid causing more harm than good, and shares concerns that false Covid-19 cures will emerge on black markets. ( 10 June 2020 ) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Business Insider



  • Virus DNA spread across surfaces in hospital over 10 hours Virus DNA left on a hospital bed rail was found in nearly half of all sites sampled across a ward within 10 hours and persisted for at least five days, according to a new study by Dr Lena Ciric, Stacey Rawlinson (UCL CEGE) and Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green (GOSH and UCL CEGE). ( 10 June 2020 ) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Times (£) ,  Telegraph (£),   Sun ,  The Week (UK),   Newsweek ,  Indian Express ,  Times of India ,  Corriere della Sera (Italy) ,  ABC (Spain) ,  UCL News



  • Covid hotels plea to stop flouting of isolation rules In response to calls for people to obey isolation rules, Independent SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Science) calls for UK Government ministers to produce a support package for families who are self-isolating. ( 10 June 2020 ) Read: Times (£) ,  More: Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3)



  • Should I wear a face mask when I exercise? Amidst concerns about professional athletes’ safety when resuming sports, Honorary Lecturer Dr Ben Killingley (UCL Institute of Global Health) explains that there is no reason to recommend wearing face masks for sports which respect social distancing. ( 10 June 2020 ) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • Can thermal cameras help spot coronavirus? As the ability of thermal cameras to detect signs of Covid-19 is questioned, Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) explains that these devices are less accurate than medical digital thermometers. ( 9 June 2020 ) Read: BBC News



  • Fertility clinics during Covid-19 Dr Zeynep Gurtin (UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health) discusses her new research project, which looks at the impact of fertility clinic closures during Covid-19 on female patients. ( 9 June 2020 ) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Woman’s Hour’ (from 20 mins)



  • Coronavirus is changing digital etiquette On the subject of how human behaviour has changed during the pandemic, Professor Anna Cox (UCL Interaction Centre) offers advice on how best to make online meetings and social gatherings run smoothly, and how personal devices can create mental boundaries. ( 9 June 2020 ) Read: New York Times (£)



  • Fully reopening schools could cause second wave Amidst concerns that school re-openings may cause a second wave of Covid-19, lead author Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains the findings of a joint study by UCL researchers and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on contact tracing. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: BBC ,  More: Express ,  Evening Standard



  • Missing school is bigger risk for children than Covid-19 SAGE member and Honorary Lecturer Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology and Language Sciences) explains that while children face little risk from catching Covid-19, missing school will stunt their development. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Independent ,  Mail Online ,  MSN News



  • Saliva test offers hope for UK Covid-19 testing targets Professor Philip Beales (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health), who has been coordinating creation of the Covid-19 saliva tests with firms Chronomics and Nonacus, explains how they work as well as how quickly they give results. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Mail Online ,  i News



  • Money spent designing ventilators ’should have been used for PPE’ In a discussion on funds for ventilators during the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) argues that the money spent on creating working ventilator designs would have been better spent on PPE for frontline workers. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Yahoo! News



  • Mapping the pandemic - in pictures Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices developed by Professor Rebecca Shipley, Professor Tim Baker (both UCL Mechanical Engineering) and Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine) working with Mercedes-AMG HPP and UCLH are shown in a feature mapping the Covid-19 pandemic. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: Guardian



  • Experts call for UK Government to conduct inquiry before second wave In an open letter to the Guardian, UCL professors including Independent SAGE members Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Science) and Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) call for a close enquiry of Covid-19 before a second wave happens. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: Guardian ,  More: Guardian (2) ,  Independent ,  Mail Online ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 17 mins 22 secs)



  • What is the future for high-end restaurants? As world-renowned restaurant Noma reopens, Dr Vaughn Tan (UCL School of Management) points out that higher unemployment and lower salaries may affect people’s disposable income post-lockdown and reduce restaurant income. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • Post-pandemic public spending projects must be well-focussed Public spending after the Covid-19 pandemic must be well-focussed to avoid governments moving from one crisis to another without any long-term plan, argues Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose). ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: BBC News



  • Covid-19 is not the last pandemic As researchers unveil a new pattern-recognition system to see which wildlife diseases are infectious toward humans, Professor Kate Jones (UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research) says manmade environments can bring humans and animals closer, increasing infection risks. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: BBC News



  • How close are we to defeating Covid-19? Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) joins a discussion on Covid-19 efforts and describes how virus testing has improved significantly over the recent months, as mathematical models, virus tests and antibody tests are helping track the spread of cases. ( 8 June 2020 ) Read: Guardian ,  Yahoo! News



  • Is timing of mandatory facemasks on transport significant? With UK Government plans to require all commuters to wear facemasks on public transport from 15 June, Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) answers questions on the science of droplets, human behaviour and why the UK’s strategy differs from other European countries. ( 8 June 2020 ) Listen: LBC’s ’Shelagh Fogarty Show’ (from 1 hr 5 mins 49 secs)



  • Coronavirus is changing digital etiquette On the subject of how human behaviour has changed during the pandemic, Professor Anna Cox (UCL Interaction Centre) offers advice on how best to make online meetings and social gatherings run smoothly, and how personal devices can create mental boundaries. ( 9 June 2020 ) Read: New York Times (£)



  • Can thermal cameras help spot coronavirus? As the ability of thermal cameras to detect signs of Covid-19 is questioned, Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) explains that these devices are less accurate than medical digital thermometers. ( 9 June 2020 ) Read: BBC News



  • Fertility Clinics during Covid-19 Dr Zeynep Gurtin (UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health) discusses her new research project, which looks at the im pact of fertility clinic closures during Covid-19 on female patients. ( 9 June 2020 ) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Woman’s Hour’ (from 20 mins)



  • How best to trace Covid-19, and do face masks help stop the spread? Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) discusses whether wearing face masks can help stop the spread of Covid-19, as well as questioning why test and trace isn’t being operated out of GP surgeries. (5 June 2020)   Read: i News ,  More: Mail Online ,  This is Money ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 9 mins 15 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5’s ’Your Call’ (from 1 min 3 secs) ,  BBC Radio 2’s ’Zoe Ball Breakfast Show’ (from 2 hours 31 mins)



  • Sweden should not be looked to as a ’control experiment’ on Covid-19 Sweden’s more relaxed measures to contain Covid-19 should not be looked to as an example of a control group, because "The fact that other countries locked down helped Sweden," explains Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction). (5 June 2020) Read: The National (UAE)



  • Singapore plans wearable virus-tracing device for all Singapore’s plan to give all residents a wearable device to track Covid-19 presents "accountability and privacy concerns," as wearers will find it hard to scrutinise what data the device is actually collecting, argues Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws). (5 June 2020) Read: Reuters ,  More: Mail Online ,  Financial Post (Canada)



  • Anxiety & depression levels fall as lockdown eased Levels of anxiety and depression in the UK have both fallen in the past week but remain above the usual reported averages, according to UCL’s Covid-19 social study of over 90,000 adults during the coronavirus epidemic, led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (4 June 2020) Read: Independent ,  More: Mail Online ,  Evening Standard ,  This is Money ,  ITV News ,  Yahoo! News ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  Yahoo! News (3) ,  UCL News



  • UK Government’s international quarantine approach ’cautious’ In response to the new UK’s quarantine rules on international arrivals, Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains the science behind this approach, in light of lockdown rules being eased. (4 June 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 12 mins 59 secs)



  • Covid-19’s impact on the brain As research published in JAMA suggests that a specific protein in the brain could allow Covid-19 to infect cells in the central nervous system, Dr Michael Zandi (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) queries what the neurological symptoms of the virus could be on the brain. (4 June 2020) Read: Channel 4 News



  • Examining vivid lockdown dreams Postgraduate Researcher Zara Haghpanah-Shirwan (UCL Psychology & Language Science) talks about the UCL Lockdown Dreams Project, which is researching dreams, and how our collective experience of the current pandemic colours the themes, narratives, and imagery that appear in them. (4 June 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 52 mins 44 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Question Time Extra Time’ (from 2 hours 58 mins 37 secs)



  • Following a new report released by the UK Government which identifies risk factors in catching Covid-19, Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) adds that the more deprived the area, the higher the mortality from the coronavirus. (4 June 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Colin Murray Show’ (from 49 mins 9 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 46 mins 57 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5’s ’Dotun Adebayo’s Coronavirus: The latest developments’ (from 37 mins 40 secs)



  • Where did the UK coronavirus response go wrong? Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Science) and Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) discuss the shortfalls in the UK response to Covid-19, including confusion over correct policy and the Prime Minister disregarding advice on physical contact. (4 June 2020) Read: MSN News ,  More: AOL News ,  Yahoo! News ,  Watch: Channel 4’s ’Dispatches’ (from 18 mins 20 secs)



  • Loo roll and hot tubs: the nation’s shopping demands under lockdown In a close look at the shopping trends of the UK population during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains the rationale behind these choices as coming from a need to survive and nest before adapting to a new lifestyle. (3 June 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • England’s track and trace system ’not fit for purpose yet’ On the topic of the Test, Track and Trace (TTI) programme, former WHO Director and Independent SAGE member Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) explains few cases are being picked up by it and estimates it will be 2-4 weeks before the programme is ready. (3 June 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Watch: Channel 4 news ,  BBC News



  • Slow easing of lockdowns may be better for global economy A cautious approach to easing lockdown restrictions that reduces the risk of later lockdowns may be better for the global supply chain in the long run, according to a new modelling study led by Professor Dabo Guan (UCL Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management). (3 June 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: UCL News ,  El Diario (Spain) ,  Galileu (Brazil) ,  CNN ,  La Vanguardia (Spain)



  • Supercomputers can increase predictions’ accuracy Professor Peter Coveney (UCL Chemistry) explains how using supercomputers will allow his team to see if chemical structures can block Covid-19. (3 June 2020) Read: Sky news ,  More: Sun ,  Sun USA



  • Is now the right time to ease the lockdown? Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains the necessity of having a working Test, Track and Trace (TTI) programme in place when a lockdown is lifted, and answers questions about the possibility of a second peak of Covid-19 cases. (2 June 2020) Watch: Channel 4 News



  • Half of British drinkers starting earlier in the day during Covid-19 crisis As a new Global Drug Survey finds that binge drinking has increased during the lockdown and that British drinkers are starting earlier in the day than in other countries, survey founder Dr Adam Winstock (UCL Epidemiology & Health) urges people to drink less. (2 June 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Vice



  • Coronavirus infection rates show every metre counts After analysis concludes that a person’s risk of catching a coronavirus falls if at a greater distance from an infected person, Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on how the UK Government could do more to help people make decisions for personal safety. (2 June 2020) Read: Times (£) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Emma Barnett Show with Adrian Chiles’ (from 1 hour 45 mins 25 secs)



  • Many people are convinced that they have had Covid-19 already Professor Tali Sharot (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discusses the phenomenon of ’thinkihadititis’ amongst people believing they already contracted Covid-19 before it was officially discovered, and explains how it is a form of positive thinking mixed with anxiety. (2 June 2020) Read: Washington Post



  • Dominic Cummings’ actions have harmed "sense of collective solidarity" In the wake of Dominic Cummings breaking the lockdown rules, SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains that his actions may have eroded the "sense of collective solidarity" necessary for public trust in the UK Government during crises. (1 June 2020) Read: Express



  • Cummings’ actions damage public trust As lockdown is eased it is vital for people in positions of power to follow the rules, something which Dominic Cummings has not done, argues a letter signed by Professor Ruth Gilbert (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) and Dr Tim Colbourn (UCL Institute for Global Health). (1 June 2020) Read: Guardian



  • Those asked to isolate will not be told who named them Amidst fears of anger and reprisals, Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws) explains we must trust that people will not act maliciously and give false reports of Covid-19 cases to the NHS Test and Trace programme. (29 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Daily Mail



  • English schools’ return could lead to new surge, experts warn In a discussion on whether reopening schools in June is too early Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) comments that without increased surveillance more outbreaks could go unnoticed. (29 May 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: MSN News



  • What’s the science behind the Government’s advice? Dr Joe Grove (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains the science behind the UK Government’s advising of meeting six people outside the household, and stresses the need for good hand hygiene. (29 May 2020) Watch: BBC London News (from 5 mins 6 secs)



  • Just over half of adults ’strictly’ sticking to lockdown guidelines as confidence in government falls Strict adherence to Government Covid-19 lockdown guidelines and overall confidence in government are at all-time lows, according to a Covid-19 social study of over 90,000 adults led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (29 May 2020) Read: i News ,  More: Mail Online ,  ITV News ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  AOL News ,  Guardian ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Independent (£) ,  New European ,  Spectator (£) ,  UCL News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 43 mins 50 secs)



  • London buses will resume front-door boarding UCL experts are working with Transport for London (TfL) to ensure that London buses are able to safely accept passengers from the front entrances starting 30 May. (29 May 2020) Read: Mail Online,   More: Evening Standard ,  ITV News



  • Crisis recovery ’will break UK’s discipline boundaries’ Professor Geraint Rees (Dean, UCL Life Sciences, and Pro-Vice-Provost, Artificial Intelligence) and Professor David Price (UCL Vice-Provost (Research)) suggest that after the Covid-19 pandemic, research will be much more interdisciplinary. (29 May 2020) Read: Times Higher Education (£)



  • Coronavirus has changed our priorities Professor Yolande Barnes (UCL Bartlett Real Estate Institute) discusses the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on potential homebuyers and shares her view that the pandemic will "not be a one-time crisis or a one-off lockdown". (28 May 2020) Read: Evening Standard’s Homes and Property



  • Test, trace and isolate is crucial but no silver bullet Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) and Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comment on the Test Trace and Isolate (TTI) programme and stress it is reliant on support from Public Health England, NHSx and communities to make it a national success. (28 May 2020) Read: Evening Standard ,  More: Mail Online ,  Sun ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Guardian ,  AOL News ,  Yahoo! News ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  MSN News ,  BBC News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hr 34 mins) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World Tonight’ (from 15 mins 57 secs) ,  BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 14 mins 48 secs)



  • Is the science any good? Professor Harry Hemingway (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) comments on the likely increase of cancer-related deaths as ’collateral damage’ following the Covid-19 pandemic. (28 May 2020) Read: FT



  • Could an antibody test help us exit the lockdown? Oksana Pyzik (UCL Pharmacy) explains how testing for Covid-19 works and why talk of immunity passports is premature in a podcast, and discusses lockdown measures and vaccine development in video interviews. (27 May 2020)  Listen: Mail+’s ’Coronavirus Daily’ (from 43 seconds) ,  More: Mail+’s ’The Good Health Show’ (from 44 seconds) ,  Sky News



  • Government inaction "Almost Trumpian" SAGE member and Honorary Lecturer Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology and Language Sciences) criticises the UK Government’s inaction regarding Dominic Cummings’ breaking of the Covid-19 lockdown rules. (27 May 2020) Read: Times (£)



  • The big failure of small government Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) and Giulio Quaggiotto discuss how to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic well economically, governments should invest more in private sector contracts that will serve public interests. (27 May 2020) Read: Project Syndicate ,  More: Social Europe



  • Mothers are being penalised by the continued closure of schools Professor Almudena Sevilla (UCL Institute of Education) discusses a new survey from UCL and the Institute of Fiscal Studies which has revealed that working mothers may face potential damage to their careers as they try to balance a heavier workload with childcare under lockdown. (27 May 2020)  Read: Telegraph (£) ,  BBC News ,  Independent ,  Mail Online ,  i News ,  i News (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  Yahoo! News (2)   Mail Online (2) ,  Guardian ,  Guardian (2) ,  UCL News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 26 mins 6 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 2’s ’Vanessa Feltz Show’ (from 35 mins 36 secs)



  • Are young people breaking lockdown rules more often? SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains the behaviours that change in reaction to the UK Government’s messages and how some people are taking more risks due to distrust.  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’More or Less’ (from 7 mins) (27 May 2020)



  • Are younger people now ’generation cancelled’- Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on the study of young people during the lockdown and explains that younger people are missing out on life more than older adults, but they are making huge sacrifices and placing themselves at risk to help others. (27 May 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Emma Barnett Show’ (from 42 mins, 15 secs)



  • Can ’immunity passports’ help us get back to normal? Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on the idea of immunity passports and explains that we don’t know enough about Covid-19 and stresses that even if a patient has recovered from the virus, there is nothing to prevent them from getting it again. (27 May 2020) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’Business Daily’ (from 7 mins, 20 secs)



  • Gene variant may not be independent risk factor for severe Covid-19 New research which links a gene variant present in dementia patients with an increased risk of severe Covid-19 faces limitations and requires more research before it can be confirmed, says Honorary Professor David Curtis (UCL Biosciences). ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Guardian



  • UK Covid-19 death figure accuracy due to "mature system of reporting" Due to the centralised nature of the NHS, the UK’s system of reporting deaths due to Covid-19 is more mature than those of other countries and may be one of the reasons the UK’s death toll seems so much higher, explains Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine). ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Express



  • The women fighting Covid-19 Professor Judith Breuer (UCL Infection & Immunity) adds to a discussion on women in science and explains how more support is needed for mothers in science, as many will drop out to handle childcare in the family. ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Times (£)



  • Will Covid-19 mutate into a more dangerous virus? Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) comments on the possibility of Covid-19 mutating, amidst rising concerns from the public. ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Yahoo! News ,  More: Mail Online ,  News18 (India) ,  UCL News



  • "UK Government’s campaign has been too successful" SAGE member and Honorary Lecturer Gavin Morgan (UCL Psychology and Language Sciences) comments how the UK Government’s stay at home campaign has worked too well and that despite growing fears, parents should not be concerned about sending children back to school. ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • How is the pandemic affecting our mental health? Dr Rochelle Burgess (UCL Institute for Global Health) comments on how mental health is becoming more complicated due to the pandemic and the importance of thinking differently, with a closer look at how the community shapes our outlook. ( 26 May 2020 ) List en: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 19 mins 21 secs)



  • The coronavirus will not change business for mafia organisations   Professor John Dickie (UCL SELCS) comments on the history of the mafia as an organisation and how they act differently from other criminal groups. ( 26 May 2020 ) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’Newshour’ (from 11 mins 13 secs)



  • Lockdown guidance should still be followed Discussing Dominic Cummings travelling during the Covid-19 lockdown, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences), Professor Joe Grove (UCL Infection & Immunity) and Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) urge people to follow current lockdown measures. ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Guardian ,  More: Sky News ,  Mail Online ,  Times (£) ,  New European ,  Evening Standard ,  Independent ,  i News ,  ITV News ,  Metro ,  Yahoo! News ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  Yahoo! News (3) ,  MSN News ,  AOL News ,  Guardian (2) ,  Guardian (3) ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 5 mins 52 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Colin Murray Show’ (from 3 hours 1 min 2 secs) ,  BBC Radio 2’s ’The Blues Show with Cerys Matthews’ (from 1 min) ,  BBC Radio 1’s ’Breakfast with Greg James’ (from 2 hours 28 mins 50 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 48 mins 14 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 1 min 14 secs) ,  BBC Radio 2’s ’All Day Popmaster’ (from 1 hour 1 min 55 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5’s ’Nihal Arthanayake Show’ (from 1 min 55 secs) ,  BBC Radio 1’s ’Clara Amfo Show’ (from 1 hour 30 mins 15 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5’s ’Sunday Breakfast’ (from 14 mins 19 secs) ,  Watch: BBC’s ’Coronavirus Daily Update’ (from 42 mins 35 secs)



  • UK population density one factor in Covid-19 spread The UK’s dense population and London’s status as one of Europe’s biggest cities are both factors in the spread of Covid-19 within the country, explains Dr Hannah Fry (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis). ( 26 May 2020 )  Read: Sun



  • Majority of Covid deaths would not have occurred in coming year Sir David Spiegelhalter refers to a UCL study on elderly people, explaining that even with older patients who have three comorbidities, he would only expect 1 in 4 to die without the coronavirus. ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Financial Times



  • Central banks must change course if they are to lead us out of the coronavirus crisis Dr Josh Ryan-Collins (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) explains how banks should be working with public sector companies to help create jobs in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Guardian



  • The wrong kind of government to deal with a pandemic There is an abyss between plans and their implementation, and the UK lacks a joined-up system with a nested hierarchy of compatible plans, argues Professor David Alexander (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction) in a letter to the Guardian. ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Guardian



  • Anxieties continue despite fertility clinics reopening Dr Zeynep Gurtin (UCL Institute for Women’s Health) has begun a new research project exploring the impact of fertility clinic closures and the coronavirus on female patients and comments on the anxieties many fertility patients face amidst the lockdown. ( 26 May 2020 ) Read: Guardian ,  Yahoo! News



  • UK Covid-19 death figure accuracy due to "mature system of reporting" Due to the centralised nature of the NHS, the UK’s system of reporting deaths due to Covid-19 is more mature than those of other countries and may be one of the reasons the UK’s death toll seems so much higher, explains Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine). (26 May 2020) Read: Express



  • Are socioeconomic inequalities behind BAME communities’ higher risk of Covid-19?   Honorary Lecturer Dr Shitka Das (UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science) comments on a study which suggests members of the BAME community are more at risk of contracting Covid-19. (22 May 2020) Listen: LBC’s ’Tom Swarbrick Show’ (from 1 hour, 39 mins, 14 secs)



  • Gender norms remain strong during lockdown As Muslim men reflect on Ramadan during the lockdown, a UCL study is referenced in a discussion on how gender roles and how families are handling household chores. (22 May 2020) Read: Metro



  • Schools can’t open safely by June 1, rival Sage group of scientists warns Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments after the independent Sage group criticises the UK Government’s decision to reopen schools in June. (22 May 2020) Read: Sun



  • Children half as likely to catch Covid-19 than adults Amidst concerns of children returning to school before it’s safe, Professor Russell Viner (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) comments on new research from UCL which indicates children and young people are 56% less likely to contract Covid-19 than adults. ( 22 May 2020 ) Read: Guardian ,  Yahoo! News ,  UCL News ,  Sun,   Times (£) ,  Times (£) (2) ,  Financial Times (£) ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Guardian ,  Mail Online ,  Evening Standard ,  Daily Express ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Mail Online (5) ,  Mail Online (6) ,  Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Telegraph (£) (3) ,  Sun (2) ,  Sun (3) ,  Sun (4) ,  Sun (5) ,  Daily Express (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  Yahoo! News (3) ,  AOL News ,  AOL News (2) ,  AOL News (3) ,  AOL News (4) ,  AOL News (5) ,  Sky News ,  New Statesman ,  BBC Newsround ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 52 mins 36 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Jim Davis Show’ (from 44 mins 50 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5 Live’s ’Chiles on Friday Show’ (from 19 mins, 55 secs)



  • There are hidden factors with catching Covid-19 Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) explains that obesity, diet, pollution are just some of the differing factors between countries that can lead to varied numbers of Covid-19 cases. ( 22 May 2020 ) Read: Express



  • Need for migrants Juliet Rose, a UCL undergraduate student, writes about the need for migrants to support the UK, especially in times of crisis. ( 22 May 2020 ) Read: Times (£)



  • How will elite athletes return to competitive sport after Covid-19? Dr Flaminia Ronca (UCL Institute of Sport Exercise & Health) discusses the science of training and describes the cardiovacsular issues UCL health experts will be looking for when helping elite sportspeople safely return to sport. (21 May 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (from 2 hours, 27 mins, 30 secs)



  • Avoid using ’wonder remedies’ As Brazilian indigenous tribes use plants and tree bark to treat Covid-19, Professor Michael Heinrich (UCL School of Pharmacy) advises that whilst some traditional remedies may offer temporary relief, there is no evidence that any home remedies will work against the disease. (21 May 2020) Read: Independent ,  Daily Star



  • Best London boroughs to live in post lockdown On the topic of housebuying in the capital, a UCL study indicating that two thirds of London pavements are unfit for social distancing. (21 May 2020) Read: Evening Standard’s Homes and Property



  • UCL study shows many young adults are not sticking to lockdown rules The COVID-19 Social Study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL) shows that fewer young adults are sticking to the remaining lockdown rules. (21 May 2020) Read: Times (£) ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Daily Mail ,  Guardian ,  Independent ,  Sky News ,  ITV News ,  Evening Express ,  MSN News ,  Daily Mail (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  AOL News ,  iNews ,  Express ,  UCL News ,  Sun ,  Guardian (2) ,  Listen: LBC News’ Live News, Travel, Business and Weather for London (from 2 hours, 27 mins, 39 secs)



  • Did the UK government prepare for the wrong kind of pandemic? Professor David Tuckett (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discusses ’radical uncertainty’ in the situation of the UK government’s plans for handling the Covid-19 pandemic. (21 May 2020) Read: Guardian



  • UCL investigation launched into TfL Covid-19 deaths Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on the investigation launched in collaboration with Transport for London to understand the pattern of infections and deaths among London’s transport drivers from Covid-19. (21 May 2020) Read: BBC ,  More: Daily Mail ,  Independent ,  Evening Standard ,  ITV News ,  Express ,  Evening Express ,  FR24 News ,  Daily Mail (2) ,  Listen: LBC News’ ’James O’Brien Show’ (from 2 mins, 3 secs) ,  More: LBC News’ Capital Breakfast Show with Roman Kemp (from 2hrs 30 secs) ,  LBC News’ ’Nick Ferrari Show’ (from 1 hour, 2 mins, 47 secs) ,  Listen: LBC’s ’Shelagh Fogarty Show’ (from 1 hour, 17 mins, 59 secs)



  • When is it safe to ease lockdowns? Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) explains the reasoning behind the reproduction number and what this means for Covid-19 cases in the UK. (21 May 2020) Read: New Scientist



  • Covid-19 patients may have experienced cytokine storms Rheumatologist Dr Jessica Manson (UCL Surgery and Interventional Sciences) explains a study looking at ’cytokine storms’, where the body has released of ’a storm’ of too many cytokine proteins in the immune system, which can further damage the patient’s immune system. (21 May 2020) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’Health Check’ (from 18 mins, 30 secs)



  • Government keeping ’Stay Alert’ pandemic slogan despite criticism it is too vague SAGE member Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments how the UK Government’s stay alert slogan may be confusing for the general public and could use clarification. (21 May 2020) Read: Wales Online ,  Express and Star ,  Evening Express



  • Understanding what’s driving market reactions is vital In a commentary about how the lack of understanding about Covid-19 has affected financial markets, economist Gerard Lyons mentions Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) and builds a picture of the economic situation facing the UK. (21 May 2020) Read: City A.M.



  • Coronavirus affects mental health too - here’s what we know Professor Anthony David (UCL Institute of Mental Health) writes about the potential mental health effects of Covid-19, partly based on evidence from new studies by Dr Jonathan Rogers (UCL Psychiatry) and Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health). (21 May 2020) Read: Guardian



  • Wash hands six times a day to cut infection risk by a third A UCL study has shown that washing hands 6-10 times a day can reduce the risk of a person developing a virus. UCL PhD researcher Sarah Beale (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) explains this study supports UK government’s public health messaging to wash hands regularly. (20 May 2020) Read: BBC ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Daily Mail,   ITV News ,  Independent,   Mirror ,  Evening Standard,   Sun,   Yahoo! News ,  iNews,   Express and Star ,  UCL News ,  Sky News ,  Metro ,  Watch: BBC News’ Breakfast programme (from 10 mins, 28 secs)



  • The handbag designer kitting out the NHS Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) has worked with handbag designer Anya Hindmarch to design a holster-style handbag for NHS staff. This bag costs £10 and is intended for NHS staff members to use during the Covid-19 pandemic. (20 May 2020) Read: Times (£)



  • Lockdowns trigger dramatic fall in global carbon emissions To ensure regular cuts to global emissions, Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) explains we must shift energy production away from relying on fossil fuels, as this may be the true lesson learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic. (20 May 2020) Read: Guardian ,  Mail Online ,  Economic Times ,  AFP



  • Coronavirus: Delirium ’may be common’ in Covid-19 seriously ill Some people hospitalised with coronavirus may experience delirium or PTSD, finds a review of SARS, MERS and Covid-19 studies by Dr Jonathan Rogers (UCL Psychiatry) and Professor Tony David (UCL Institute of Mental Health). Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) also comments. (19 May 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: CNN ,  Mail Online ,  The Conversation ,  Times of India ,  Independent ,  Metro ,  ITV News ,  Sun ,  Mirror ,  Express ,  Yahoo! News ,  Globo G1 (Brazil) ,  ,  CGTN (China) ,  Nursing Times ,  Hindustan Times ,  Voice of America ,  UCL News



  • Study shows people in lockdown focus on personal interests Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on the study of over 90,000 people who provided data about their mental health and wellbeing during the lockdown. (19 May 2020) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s Newshour (from 20 mins, 59 secs)



  • The thought process behind the ’People’s Vaccine’ Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) explains the ’People’s Vaccine’, a open letter from 140 world leaders and experts to the World Health Organisation, which calls for a COVID-19 vaccine that is free and equally available to all nations. (19 May 2020) Watch: BBC News’ Outside Source (from 7 mins, 32 secs)



  • Covid-19: are pandemics becoming more common? Professor Kate Jones (UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research) comments on the regularity of zoonotic diseases and the evidence which suggests that outbreaks of infectious diseases are becoming more common. (19 May 2020) Listen: Guardian’s Science Weekly



  • Vulnerable not exempt from furlough winding down, employers told On the topic of the UK government’s furlough scheme and its effect on vulnerable people, a UCL study is referenced as having estimated up to 8 million people with health conditions could be at risk when commuting to work. (19 May 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Mail Online



  • Fears over privacy hit take-up of trace app Dr Jung Won Son (UCL Bartlett School of Planning) comments on the South Korean contact-tracing strategy, in a discussion on differing strategies amidst fears about privacy and government surveillance. (19 May 2020) Read: South China Morning Post



  • At-risk groups less likely to exercise less during COVID-9 lockdown Disproportionate numbers of adults with chronic diseases, such as obesity and hypertension, have reduced their physical activity during the COVID-19 lockdown, according to a new study co-led led by UCL. Lead author Dr Nina Rogers (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) comments. (19 May 2020) Read: Mailonline (Health) ,  More: iNews ,  Mailonline (Science) ,  Telegraph ,  Belfast Telegraph ,  Yahoo News ,  This is London ,  Evening Express ,  Express & Star ,  Glasgow Times ,  UCL News



  • SAGE advice must be published now to find where Britain got coronavirus wrong Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) calls for clarity and transparency from the government as members of SAGE come under criticism for their scientific advice during the Covid-19 pandemic. (19 May 2020) Read: Guardian



  • Deforestation has increased the risk of virus transmission to humans Professor Kate Jones (UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research) stresses we must not ’demonise’ animals but rather attempt to understand the risks of their ecosystems when considering how major diseases stem from animals. (18 May 2020) Read: Sky News



  • Scientists say study UK’s R number is based on is flawed Dr Tim Colbourn (UCL Institute for Global Health) disputes the Manchester study which provided the UK government estimates on the reproductive capability of infection for Covid-19, stating it is inherently flawed. (18 May 2020) Read: Times (£)



  • It’s time to send children back to school In a commentary on whether it is safe to send children back to school, a survey by UCL researchers is mentioned, referring to the study as having shown that closing schools did little to slow the virus. (18 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Telegraph (£) (3)



  • Opinion: The Tories can avoid a Black Wednesday moment in the crisis of Covid-19 Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) and economist Gerard Lyons compare the economic situation to that of 1992, and state that a balance between public health risks and economic growth are essential. (18 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • Housebuying is back, but housing market needs work As part of an analysis on the housing market as the UK lockdown eases, a UCL study for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has revealed that developers have taken advantage of weak planning rules to produce substandard properties. (18 May 2020) Read: Observer



  • Covid-19 recovery for ICU patients will be slow Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) comments on how Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients recovering from Covid-19 will need support from local health services and friends and family, as the road to recovery won’t be immediate. (18 May 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 14 mins, 14 secs)



  • Governments need to think more about public interests Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) comments how when supporting businesses, governments must consider public interests and not solely focus on bailing out private companies. (18 May 2020) Read: Observer



  • Genetics of Covid-19 debunks idea of a patient zero for coronavirus pandemic Dr Lucy van Dorp (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) comments on the Covid-19’s genomes and how the pandemic changes and moves around the world. (18 May 2020) Listen: BBC World Service Radio’s ’The Evidence’ (from 5 min, 32 secs)



  • Coronavirus: survey reveals what the public wants from a contact-tracing app Dr Julia Yesberg (UCL Security & Crime Science) and colleagues write an article about a survey they have conducted identifying people’s concerns about a planned contact-tracing app. (18 May 2020) Read: The Conversation



  • Patents are not a hindrance but a help to end Covid-19 In a discussion on how patents are helpful to end the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) is mentioned for having contributed to the debate on intellectual property and pharmaceutical products. (18 May 2020) Read: Financial Times (£) ,  More: Nature



  • Schools have little effect on the spread of Covid-19 In a discussion on the decision to allow students to return to schools in the UK, Professor Russell Viner (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health) is mentioned for his review of schools and the results that schools pose little risk to the rates of infection of Covid-19. (18 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Telegraph (£) (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  Sun



  • Are children at risk if they return to school? In a discussion on whether it’s safe for parents to return their children to school, Professor John Jerrim (UCL Institute of Education) explains that many people are overestimating the risk of catching Covid-19. (18 May 2020) Read: Times (£)



  • Economists say combatting Covid-19 is like fighting a war Dr Joshua Ryan-Collins (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) adds to a discussion on economics and explains that deflation is a major concern for the UK economy as small businesses are failing. (18 May 2020) Read: AOL News



  • Official Covid-19 symptoms list include loss of smell and taste Data from Public Health England’s surveillance system known as the FF100, along with data on respiratory viruses from the UCL Virus Watch study, was used to make this decision. (18 May 2020) Read: Reuters



  • Conflicts between National courts and EU law undermine the system "If national courts stop co-operating the whole [EU] system grinds to a halt," explains Professor Ronan McCrea (UCL Laws) in light of a conflict between Germany’s courts and EU law. (15 May 2020) Read: Express ,  More: Irish Times



  • What could cause another coronavirus wave? An article written with Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) looks at possible causes of a second wave of Covid-19, referencing the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918/19 as an example of a previous pandemic with multiple waves. (15 May 2020) Read: ITV News



  • Testing vital for new Covid-19 devices New devices which could help treat Covid-19 patients look promising, but will require extensive testing before they’re ready for use, explains Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering). (15 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • Mental health of NHS staff at long-term risk from Covid-19 Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) stresses the need for NHS staff to have access to specialist mental health services during the pandemic, in a discussion on health and wellbeing during crises. (15 May 2020) Read: BBC



  • Health secretary urged to investigate link between gut health and Covid-19 A letter signed by Professor Simon Gaisford (UCL Pharmacy), amongst others, urges the government to look at the growing body of ’compelling’ research suggesting people with poor gut health are at higher risk of suffering severe COVID-19. (14 May 2020) Read: Mail Online



  • Faulty contact-tracing app would undermine public trust Professor Sir Jonathon Montgomery (UCL Laws), speaking in his role as head of NHSX’s ethics committee, has warned that the UK’s Covid-19 tracing app could lose public trust if it did not work properly, especially if it showed false positives or negatives. (14 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 16 mins 55 secs)



  • School closures likely to have long-term impact on children Research which has found school closures could negatively impact children backs up the obvious view that "When people don’t go to school, they don’t learn as much, and the longer they’re not at school for the more they don’t learn," explains Sam Sims (UCL Institute of Education). (14 May 2020) Read: Wired



  • What could cause another coronavirus wave? An article written with Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (UCL Epidemiology & Health) looks at possible causes of a second wave of Covid-19, referencing the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918/19 as an example of a previous pandemic with multiple waves. (15 May 2020) Read: ITV News



  • Testing vital for new Covid-19 devices New devices which could help treat Covid-19 patients look promising, but will require extensive testing before they’re ready for use, explains Professor Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering). (15 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • Health secretary urged to investigate link between gut health and Covid-19 A letter signed by Professor Simon Gaisford (UCL Pharmacy), amongst others, urges the government to look at the growing body of ’compelling’ research suggesting people with poor gut health are at higher risk of suffering severe COVID-19. (14 May 2020) Read: Mail Online



  • Faulty contact-tracing app would undermine public trust Professor Sir Johnathon Montgomery (UCL Laws), speaking in his role as head of NHSX’s ethics committee, has warned that the UK’s Covid-19 tracing app could lose public trust if it did not work properly, especially if it showed false positives or negatives. (14 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) , Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 16 mins 55 secs)



  • Lockdown ease could lead to tens of thousands of excess deaths unless vulnerable are protected The death risk among those with conditions such as heart disease is five times higher than in people without underlying conditions and easing the lockdown must take this into account, says new research led by Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (13 May 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Independent ,  Sun ,  Yahoo! News ,  Sun (2) ,  Mirror ,  Sun (3) ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  New Statesman (£) ,  Sky News ,  Metro ,  Star ,  Sun (4) ,  Sun (5) ,  AOL News ,  MSN News ,  Express ,  Khaleej Times (UAE) ,  Channel 4 News ,  Express (2) ,  Metro (2) ,  UCL News ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newsday’ (from 17 mins 38 secs)  



  • Five workplace trends will shape life after lockdown PhD Researcher Dave Cook (UCL Anthropology) lists five ways in which people’s working lives will change after the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted. (13 May 2020) Read: Conversation , More: Metro

  • Concerns raised over new UK biosecurity centre The announcement of the UK biosecurity centre is "worrying" as it will be outside of the NHS and Public Health England, which have traditionally been responsible for disease control, says Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity). (13 May 2020) Read: Guardian


  • Dodging the Covid-19 unemployment trap Assistant Professor Vincent Sterk (UCL Economics) warns that an increase in fears about employment due to the Covid-19 pandemic could cause a downturn for the economy. (12 May 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)



  • Are women the stronger sex? In a discussion on the differences between male and female immune systems, Professor Sarah Hawkes (UCL Institute for Global Health) explains that variations between them are not just biological, and that lifestyle choices are factors as well. (12 May 2020) Read: Mirror



  • Coronavirus shows why it’s vital to distinguish sex and gender Professor Alice Sullivan (UCL Institute of Education) stresses the need to collect data on different genders, as studies on gender during the lockdown have shown issues including female health practitioners wearing PPE designed for men, and a rise in domestic abuse. (12 May 2020) Read: Spectator (£)



  • Covid-19 lockdown message is confusing Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) says that the communication from Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been confusing regarding the easing of some Covid-19 lockdown rules. (12 May 2020) Watch: ITV’s ’News at Ten’ (from 6 mins 57 secs)



  • Intensive care work is brutal, but you can help Describing his recent experiences caring for patients with Covid-19, Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine), highlights the huge strain he and his colleagues are under and calls for more dedicated support and education for intensive care staff. (11 May 2020) Read: Guardian



  • Covid-19 may increase blood clotting and risk of stroke Clinical observations of COVID-19 patients, who went on to have a stroke, suggest coronavirus may cause clots within blood vessels (arteries) in the brain, finds a team of neurologists from UCL and UCLH. Professor David Werring (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) comments. (11 May 2020) Read: Financial Times ,  More: Daily Mail ,  Straits Times ,  UCL News



  • What effect is the lockdown having on children? On the topic of schools reopening, Professor John Jerrim (UCL Institute of Education) expresses concern over the effects the lockdown is having on children’s early development. (11 May 2020) Read: Express



  • Not all face masks are equal With more people now opting to wear face masks, Professor Mark Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering), explains that reusable face masks are important to cut down on the environmental impact of plastic waste. (11 May 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: MSN News



  • Latin American elderly heritage guardians shielded from Covid-19 Following reports that native South American tribes are barricading villages to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Honorary Professor Carolyn Stephens (The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL) explains that many elderly indigenous people could fall victim to it if unprotected. (11 May 2020) Read: Mail Online



  • Mixed government lockdown message will confuse public As the Government unveils how it will ease the lockdown restriction, Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains that any mixed messaging will generate fear and confusion amongst the public. (11 May 2020) Read: Evening Standard



  • Overcrowded households on pain of lockdown life Professor Monica Lakhanpaul (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) comments how the lockdown measures may negatively affect children’s physical and mental health, as well as stunt their development. (11 May 2020) Read: BBC News



  • Britain "not humble enough" in plan to counter Covid-19   Britain’s high death toll is partly a result of us not learning a lesson from other countries as we "thought we were an exceptional case," argues Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Health Informatics). (11 May 2020) Read: Guardian



  • Younger people have lowest levels of life satisfaction under Covid-19 lockdown   A study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health) has found that younger people are suffering more with mental health and financial issues due to the Covid-19 lockdown, as well as being the most likely to break the restrictions. (11 May 2020) Read: Times (£) ,  More: Guardian ,  Express



  • Government lockdown messaging "risky"   Sunday’s announcement on the easing of lockdown measures will make little difference for most people, but the minority who are not following guidance will take the announcement as permission to break the rules, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (11 May 2020) Read: Star ,  More: National (Scotland) ,  Watch: BBC’s ’Newsnight’ (from 5 mins) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Nihal Arthanayake Show’ (from 1 hour 27 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 20 mins 54 secs) ,  BBC Radio 2’s ’Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ (from 27 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5’s ’Sunday Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 11 mins 8 secs) ,  BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 5 mins 4 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 21 mins 22 secs)



  • Covid-19: activity levels begin to rebound   Activity levels during lockdown in Britain’s busiest regions including Greater London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands have begun to rebound following successive week-by-week declines, according to analysis led by Professor James Cheshire (UCL Geography). ( 7 May 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: ITV News ,  Mirror,   Mail Online,   Mail Online (2),   New European ,  AOL News,   AOL News (2) ,  UCL News



  • What is the best strategy to prevent Covid-19 spread? Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) comments on the pros and cons of wearing face masks in relation to preventing Covid-19 spread, and says that the government’s communications strategy needs improvement. (7 May 2020) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Health Check’ (from  1 min 17 secs) ,  Watch: BBC One’s ’PM Commons Statement Special’ (from 1 hour 47 mins 19 secs)  



  • Adults’ mental health survey shows increased fears about easing lockdown Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care) comments on the survey results of over 80,000 adults’ wellbeing during the pandemic, and shares that many people are nervous about easing the lockdown too early. ( 7 May 2020) Read: Evening Standard,  More: Independent ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  iNews ,  UCL News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World Tonight’ (from 39 mins 27 secs)



  • We have lost sight of Covid-19’s moderate effects   Dr Amitava Banerjee (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) comments on how the media has focussed on the deadly impact of coronavirus, not taking into account the indirect costs such as rising domestic violence rates, mental health problems and the lack of access to healthcare. ( 7 May 2020) Read: BBC News



  • BAME groups two to three times more likely to die from Covid-19   The likelihood of death from Covid-19 is higher among England’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than the general population, finds analysis by Dr Rob Aldridge (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) and Dr Delan Devakumar (UCL Institute for Global Health). ( 7 May 2020) Read: UCL News ,  Watch: ITV’s ’Good Morning Britain’ (from 9 mins 22 secs) ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newsday’ (from 14 mins 48 secs)



  • Contact tracing apps need more consultation to earn public trust Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) shares concerns about personal individuals’ privacy and security from contact tracing apps. ( 6 May 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World at One’ (from 20 mins)

  • Covid-19: Leading UCL academics named on SAGE A number of leading UCL academics have been named as scientific advisors on the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its related sub-groups. ( 6 May 2020) Read: Mirror ,  More: Sky News ,  Mail Online ,  Evening Standard ,  AOL News
  • Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 offer insights into virus evolution Analysing virus genomes from over 7,500 people infected with Covid-19, a team co-led by Professor Francois Balloux and Dr Lucy Van Dorp (both UCL Genetics Institute) has characterised patterns of diversity of the virus’ genome, offering clues to direct drugs and vaccine targets. ( 6 May 2020)  Read: BBC News ,  More: CNN ,  New York Times ,  New York Post ,  Mail Online ,  Reuters ,  Mirror ,  CGTN (China) ,  Xinhua ,  India Today ,  National Post (Canada) ,  The Hill (USA) ,  O Globo G

    1 (Brazil) ,  9News (Australia) ,  MSN News ,  Guardian ,  Al Jazeera ,  People ,  South China Morning Post ,  Der Spiegel ,  Euronews ,  Jerusalem Post ,  Forbes ,  Jakarta Post ,  Sydney Morning Herald ,  Reuters (2) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Guardian (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Express ,  Yahoo! News ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Reuters (3) ,  Australian (£) ,  Times of India ,  The Hindu ,  BBC Afrique ,  La Presse (Canada) ,  Express (2) ,  Independent ,  AOL News ,  Yahoo! News,   MSN News (2) ,  The Pioneer (India) ,  UCL News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Colin Murray Show’ (from 16 mins 15 secs)
  • Why is the UK Coronavirus death toll so high? Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) says that the UK death and infection rates for Covid-19 aren’t down to one single cause, but that the underfunding of the NHS and the high population density of much of the UK are both contributing factors. ( 6 May 2020) Read: The National (UAE)
  • Recreational drug use likely to diminish during Covid-19 lockdown Honorary Clinical Reader Dr Adam Winstock (UCL Epidemiology & Health) says that whilst use of some types of recreational drug may see an initial spike under lockdown, their use is likely to diminish due to the lack of opportunities to socialise. ( 6 May 2020) Read: Huffington Post
  • Britain is in a state of emergency. So where are its emergency planners? Professor David Alexander (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction) comments on the lack of emergency planners in SAGE groups during the pandemic. (5 May 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Lockdown traffic at 1970s levels but fewer deaths than before Professor Benjamin Heydecker (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) says that whilst lockdown traffic may be at the same level it was in the 1970s, safety measures have improved considerably due to advancements in engineering. (5 May 2020) Read: BBC News
  • Coronavirus track and trace app will be vulnerable to attack and fraud A Government-backed app to track and trace Covid-19 cases is vulnerable to fraud and could allow the government to monitor networks of social interactions like families, friends, employees and members of political movements, warns Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws). (5 May 2020) Read: Mirror ,  More: Times (£)   (2) ,  Telegraph (£) ,  New Statesman ,  Yahoo! News ,  Los Angeles Times ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’6 O’Clock News’ (from 10 mins 12 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’News Show’ (from 16 mins 20 secs)
  • Selectively lifting coronavirus lockdown "could lead to resentment" The public’s current adherence to Covid-19 lockdown measures is largely down to collective solidarity, which would not hold if restrictions were lifted for some groups before others, says Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (5 May 2020) Read: i News ,  More: Guardian ,  Evening Standard ,  Mail Online ,  Sky News ,  Huffington Post ,  Yahoo! News ,  AOL News
  • Independent expert group urges government to follow the science on Covid-19 UCL experts including Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences), Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) and Professor Karl Friston (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) discuss factors which must be considered for Covid-19 strategies to succeed. (5 May 2020) Read: FT,    More: Guardian ,  Mirror,   Sun ,  Sky News ,  Yahoo! News ,  BMJ ,  Mail Online ,  Independent ,  New Statesman ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Express ,   Watch: BBC 2’s ’Newsnight’ (from 10 mins 40 secs)
  • We should recognise the state’s power to create value The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that government spending is a vital part of the economy and that the state can be a driver of the economy, argues Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose). (5 May 2020) Read: New Statesman
  • Hackers won’t get vital info from NHSX app   Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery (UCL Laws) encourages members of the public to download the NHSX app and adds that even if hackers did infiltrate the app, users’ vital details would not be found. (5 May 2020) Read: Mail Online,   More: AOL News
  • The best way to quit smoking As many people try to quit smoking during the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains that a mix of behavioural and medical aids can help people stop smoking, but the key is to keep trying, even if you have a setback. (5 May 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 28 mins 50 secs)
  • Honorary Lecturer Dr Ben Killingley (UCL Institute of Global Health) critiques a government report on the widespread public use of facemasks, stating the report doesn’t reflect current evidence on facemask usage. (5 May 2020) Read: Independent ,  More: Guardian
  • Britain’s lack of preparedness for tackling Covid-19 crisis reveals health inequalities Professor Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health) criticises the UK government’s lack of preparedness for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and connects this present situation to a lack of funding for health and social care systems. (4 May 2020) Read: i News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The World This Weekend’ (from 12 mins 37 secs)
  • Change behaviour to avoid touching surfaces Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) urges a well-managed gradual change to return to life after the lockdown. (4 May 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 7 mins 32 secs)
  • Social distancing crucial to avoid a second wave of infections Professor Robert West (UCL Behavioural Science & Health) urges caution and states how some social distancing measures are necessary in order to ease the lockdown. (4 May 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 2 hours) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Rick Edwards Show’ (from 1 hour 45 mins)
  • Low income workers disproportionally affected by Covid-19 Low income workers in developing countries face a higher risk of income loss during the Covid-19 lockdown as it is less possible to conduct their jobs from home, suggests a new study co-authored by Dr Suphanit Piyapromdee (UCL Economics). (4 May 2020) Read: Straits Times (Singapore) (£) ,  More: UCL News
  • How coronavirus is affecting your dreams - and what to do about it A group of graduate students in UCL Psychology & Language Sciences are leading a study about people’s dreams during the lockdown. (3 May 2020) Read: New Scientist
  • What coronavirus crisis means for blind and partially sighted people Dr Michael Crossland (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology) writes about challenges faced by people with visual impairment during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as difficulties maintaining social distance when buying groceries and having to touch items to read them. (3 May 2020) Read: The Conversation
  • Supporting parents and children in the early years during (and after) the COVID-19 crisis Dr Gabriella Conti (UCL Economics) stresses that maintaining early childhood interventions during the pandemic is crucial to avoid exacerbating inequalities in human development. (1 May 2020) Read: Vox , More: UCL News
  • Facemasks may not help stem Covid-19 tide Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) warn that facemasks may not help protect against Covid-19 and that wearing them may lead people to adhere less strictly to social distancing behaviour. (01 May 2020) Read: Yahoo! News
  • Covid-19 effects in the elderly tracked in ongoing study More than 600 elderly residents have volunteered to take part in a UCL study led by Dr Daniel Davis (UCL Population Science & Experimental Medicine), which will track the effects of Covid-19 and could help to develop a bespoke vaccine for older people. (01 May 2020) Read: Nursing Times ,  More: Ham & High ,  UCL News
  • We have failed to learn from previous pandemics Global co-operation, not closed borders and competition over medical supplies, is needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, argues Visiting Professor Robert Voltera (UCL Laws). (01 May 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Impact of Covid-19 on childhood urgently needs assessing There is a stark lack of political focus and absence of public discussion on the effect of Covid-19 on children’s lives across health, education, social care, justice and poverty, warns a letter authored by Emeritus Professor Al Aynsley-Green (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (01 May 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • Most London pavements are not wide enough for social distancing Two thirds of pavements in London are not wide enough for people to observe the government’s advice to stay two metres apart, finds analysis led by Dr Ashley Dhanani (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture) and Nicolas Palominos (UCL Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis). (01 May 2020) Read: Telegraph ,  More: Mail Online ,  i News,   Telegraph (2) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  ITV News ,  Yahoo! News ,  AOL News ,  UCL News ,  Watch: BBC London News (from 16 mins 20 secs)
  • Lockdown is distorting our memories but there are ways to regain control Dr Julia Shaw (UCL Brain Sciences) writes on how lacking ’landmark memories’ prevents us being able to organise our lives into a story. (01 May 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Homeschooling during the Covid-19 pandemic Dr Amelia Roberts (UCL Institute of Education) discusses the daunting prospect of homeschooling children during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the best ways to educate children without overwhelming them. (01 May 2020) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Parentland’ (from 3 mins 15 secs)
  • Lockdown might improve our wellbeing after all In a look at how the lockdown is affecting people, Dr Daisy Fancourt’s (UCL Epidemiology & Health) study on the pandemic’s impact on the mental health and well-being of over 74,000 people is mentioned for having shown a rise in happiness and lower anxiety levels in respondents. (30 April 2020) Read: Guardian ,  Watch: ITV’s ’Peston’ (from 35 mins, 36 secs)
  • Until we have a vaccine for coronavirus, treatments like remdesivir are our only hope Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) says patience is required as the world waits for a vaccine for Covid-19, as even in pre-pandemic times, drug testing can take two decades before entering the market. (30 April 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Remdesivir shows promise for hospitalised Covid-19 patients Professor Abdel Babiker (MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL) discusses the "very encouraging" preliminary results the drug Remdesivir has shown for improving recovery in hospitalised Covid-19 patients in clinical trials. (30 April 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 53 mins 40 secs) ,  More: BBC World Service’s ’Science in Action’ (from 3 mins 13 secs) ,  Read: Sun ,  More:Telegraph (£),   Express,  ITV News,   Guardian ,  Sun (2) ,  i News ,  Yahoo! News ,  Nature ,  BMJ ,  Mirror ,  UCL News
  • UK "gave up very early" on testing and tracing Continued testing, tracking and tracing of Covid-19 early on could have contained the virus within London and the West Midlands, argues Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health). (29 April 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Covid-19 not the only potential issue to society  While Covid-19 is the priority, we also need to prepare for events such as heatwaves, floods & power cuts, which all occurred last Summer, to ensure our "emergency services are not bogged down" says Dr Gianluca Pescaroli (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction). (28 April 2020)  Read: Huffington Post
  • Sensible to keep Santander Cycles in use during lockdown  The Santander Cycles bike scheme in London should be kept running through the lockdown as it offers "socially distanced travel, as well as physical activity opportunities" argues Professor Jenny Mindell (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (28 April 2020)  Read: FT
  • UCL Professor calls for a more diverse makeup of experts for SAGE group  Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) critiques the UK government’s SAGE group for its lack of medical experts and uniform makeup. (28 April 2020)  Read: Guardian
  • CPAP devices offer Covid-19 patients hope  Professor Rebecca Shipley (UCL Mechanical Engineering) comments on the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device manufactured by UCL, Mercedes-AMG HPP and UCLH which can help keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care. (28 April 2020)  Watch: BBC’s ’The One Show’ (from 7 mins 29 secs)
  • "... laughter is influencing how funny the jokes seem"  Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains that for some TV shows broadcasting during the lockdown, hearing laughter from a studio audience makes viewers think the jokes are funnier. (28 April 2020)  Read: BBC News
  • "...social norms play a major role in shaping behaviour"  Professor Helene Joffe, (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains how people disobeying social distancing rules may influence others to do so too. (28 April 2020)  Read: Huffington Post
  • Overproduction of ventilators due to government preparing for the worst  Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine) explains that whilst it’s easy to see the UK overestimated the amount of ventilators needed to tackle Covid-19, "Governments had to prepare for the worst and hope for the best." (27 April 2020)  Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News
  • Vaccination uptake may decline during Covid-19 lockdown  There are concerns that routine immunisations for infections such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough are being missed due to the Covid-19 lockdown, explains Professor Helen Bedford (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (27 April 2020)  Read: Guardian
  • Extended lockdown could severely damage economy  Visiting Professor Paul Johnson (UCL Economics) says that an extended lockdown due to Covid-19 could seriously impact the economy and that increased unemployment would have knock-on effects for people’s health and wellbeing. (27 April 2020)  Watch: Channel 4’s ‘When Will Lockdown End’’ (from 14 mins 15 secs)
  • What did Germany do differently to the UK on Covid-19?  Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains that as Germany is testing more people for Covid-19 they are identifying milder cases than in the UK, and as such their fatality rate per case of the virus looks lower. (27 April 2020)  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’More or Less’ (from 4 mins 49 secs)
  • How is Putin handling the Covid-19 pandemic?  Putin has deputised much of the response to Covid-19 within Russia as "He doesn’t want to be in leadership when he thinks it can backfire on him." Explains Dr Ben Noble (UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies). (27 April 2020)  Read: Time ,  More: Mail Online ,  MSN News
  • How do we ease the Covid-19 lockdown?  Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discusses the reasoning behind the current lockdown, as well as how we might safely transition out of it once cases of Covid-19 subside. (27 April 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 53 mins 48 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Your Call’ (from 7 mins 40 secs)
  • Promoting good hygiene in schools is an important post-lockdown strategy  Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments that the UK government must do more to promote good hygiene in schools. (27 April 2020)  Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Public not to blame for ministers’ mixed messages on Covid-19  Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains the confusion that can happen if UK government ministers give mixed messages to the public about staying at home. (27 April 2020)  Read: Independent ,  More: Sky News ,  Telegraph (£)  
  • Government assistance needs to be goal oriented  Professor Mariana Marcuzzo (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) comments on government assistance following the pandemic and calls for a ’reset’ in how economies work, detailing how the government can help businesses and households. (27 April 2020)  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 4 mins 50 secs)
  • Overproduction of ventilators due to government preparing for the worst  Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine) explains that whilst it’s easy to see the UK overestimated the amount of ventilators needed to tackle Covid-19, "Governments had to prepare for the worst and hope for the best." (27 April 2020)  Read: Guardian ,  More: Yahoo! News
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  • Vaccination uptake may decline during Covid-19 lockdown  There are concerns that routine immunisations for infections such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough are being missed due to the Covid-19 lockdown, explains Professor Helen Bedford (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (27 April 2020)  Read: Guardian
  • Government assistance needs to be goal oriented  Professor Mariana Marcuzzo (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) comments on government assistance following the pandemic and calls for a ’reset’ in how economies work, detailing how the government can help businesses and households. (27 April 2020)  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 4 mins 50 secs)
  • The parallels between HIV and Covid-19 Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Global Health ) discusses the parallels and differences between the response to HIV and Covid-19, before saying "we all have to work together to decide what are the best responses," to the Covid-19 pandemic. (24 April 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 38 mins 54 secs)
  • Green stimulus plan could kick-start economy after Covid-19 A stimulus plan based around energy efficiency could help to kick-start the UK economy after Covid-19, as well as being an important step in its own right, says Professor Jim Watson (UCL Bartlett School Environment, Energy & Resources). (24 April 2020) Read: i News
  • What are the options for ending lockdown? Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) outlines way in which the Covid-19 lockdown could be ended and how a second peak of the disease could be made more manageable. (24 April 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Profile: Professor Stephen Powis An article in The Guardian gives a profile of Honorary Professor Stephen Powis (UCL Medicine) and his role in fighting Covid-19 as medical director of NHS England. (24 April 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Central London quieter under lockdown Research led by Professor Jian Kang (UCL Bartlett School Environment, Energy & Resources) has found that areas of London including Euston Station and St Paul’s Cathedral are far quieter now than they were before the Covid-19 lockdown came into effect. (24 April 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’More or Less’ (from 23 mins 30 secs)
  • How do we check Covid-19 immunity? We already know that many people who are infected with Covid-19 fight it off, but it is unclear whether they are then protected from getting the virus again,  explain Professor Mala Maini (UCL Infection & Immunity) and Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) .

    Read: BBC News ,  More: Express ,  Independent ,  Sun ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 45 mins 25 secs)



  • Covid-19, human behaviour and lifting the lockdown Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discusses whether citizens would follow an extended quarantine and when lockdown measures may be lifted in the UK. (24 April 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’PM’ (from 12 mins 48 secs)

  • Why Covid-19 kills more people from Britain’s minorities  Professor Nishi Chaturvedi (UCL MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing) considers demography, co-morbidities and age when analysing why more people from minorities are dying from Covid-19. (23 April 2020)  Read: Guardian ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 39 mins 30 secs)
  • Supermarkets are a necessary risk, but you can shop safely Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) shares how people can minimise the risk of catching Covid-19 when grocery shopping. (23 April 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • School closures could result in increased inequality Closing schools due to Covid-19 "is likely to increase inequalities in education...and an overall fall in pupil achievement," says Professor Lindsay Macmillan (UCL Institute of Education). (23 April 2020) Read: FT (£)
  • Face masks could help stop Covid-19 spread An open letter to the Government signed by Professor Andrew Phillips (UCL Global Health) argues that wearing face masks in public would be "one of the simplest, cheapest and most positive measures in protecting people from infection". (23 April 2020) Read: Sky News , More: Yahoo! News
  • Can science beat Covid-19? As part of a Channel 4 panel debate titled ‘Can Science Beat the Virus’’, Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) provides analysis on Covid-19 vaccines, testing, pandemic modelling & lockdown measures. (23 April 2020) Read: Channel 4 News ,  Watch: Channel 4
  • Madagascan herbal ’cure’ for Covid-19 dangerous A supposed herbal cure for Covid-19 being recommended by Madagascar’s president is dangerous because it gives people a false sense of security in a country with limited capacity to deal with the virus, explains Dr Brian Klaas (UCL School of European Language, Culture & Society). (23 April 2020) Read: BBC News
  • Covid-19 is resetting the way we talk about economics Professor Wendy Carlin (UCL Economics) discusses how Covid-19 will change the way people talk about public policy and the economy, from general conversation to academic rhetoric and more formal language. (23 April 2020) Read: FT (£) , More: UCL News
  • After Coronavirus A comprehensive Green New Deal and adequate investment in our health and social care, could help restore local jobs, benefit society and be effective in the fight against environmental breakdown, writes Dr Peter JS Jones (UCL Geography) about life after Covid-19. (22 April 2020) Read: The Ecologist
  • Pandemic must not be used to block pollution legislation Professor Julia Stegemann (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) agrees in expressing a concern that the Covid-19 pandemic must not serve as a blind to ignore legislation which could benefit the planet. (22 April 2020) Read: The Telegraph (£)
  • "It’s not about you, it’s about everybody else" Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) comments on the protests against lockdown orders and how people need to think responsibly to avoid spreading the coronavirus. (22 April 2020) Read: Chicago Tribune
  • Treating Covid-19 patients in intensive care Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine) discusses oxygen supplies, ventilators and the different ways Covid-19 patients are treated when entering intensive care. (20 April 2020) Watch: BBC Newsnight (from 4 mins 27 secs)
  • UK Likely to face further waves of Covid-19 The UK acted too slowly in stopping the spread of Covid-19 and avoiding successive waves of Covid-19 should be a priority, argues Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health). (20 April 2020) Read: Mail Online , More: Metro , Express , Star , Guardian , Sun , Telegraph (£) , Express (2) , Express (3) , New European , Mail Online (2) , Mail Online (3) , Mirror , Sun (2) , BBC News , BBC News (2) , ITV News , AOL News , Yahoo! News , Yahoo! News (2) , Yahoo! News (3) , Yahoo! News (4) , MSN News , Sky News , New Statesman (£) , i News ,  Guardian (2) ,  BMJ , Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Drive’ (from 5 secs) , More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Stephen Nolan Show’ (from 1 hour 1 min 25 secs) , BBC Radio 4’s ’Six O’Clock News’ (from 4 mins 55 secs) , BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 6 mins 45 secs) , BBC Radio 5’s ’Jeremy Vine Show’ (from 57 mins 25 secs) , BBC Radio 2’s ’Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ (from 1 hour 56 mins 55 secs)
  • Masks used improperly give false sense of safety Prof Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) warns of a "false assurance" as the results of survey reveal more people want the use of masks to be increased in public, but wearing them improperly may lead to a laxity in social distancing behaviour. (20 April 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • UK Government considers traffic light system to reopen economy after lockdown   Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod ( UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty) and economist Gerard Lyons have developed a traffic light system for returning UK life to normal, which is being surveyed by the UK government. (20 April 2020) Read: Financial Times (£) ,  More: i News ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Yahoo! News ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  Telegraph (£) (2) ,  MSN News ,  Yahoo! News (3)
  • Keeping study routines a key goal of home-schooling Home-schooling due to Covid-19 is less about maintaining progress in subjects than it is about " encouraging parents to help their children create regular routines and study habits," explains Professor Becky Francis (UCL Institute of Education). (20 April 2020) Read: BBC News
  • Recovery from Covid-19 may not guarantee future immunity Immunity from coronaviruses such as Sars last for "about three years, on average," and Covid-19 immunity may work in a similar way, warns Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). (20 April 2020) Read: Straits Times (Singapore)
  • Anti-Ebola treatment being trialled for Covid-19 patients Remdesivir, an anti-Ebola treatment, is being developed and trialled in a study led by Professor Sarah Pett and Professor Abdel Babiker (both MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL) in patients with Covid-19. (17 April 2020) Read: Independent , More: Mail Online , AOL News
  • Simple behaviours need to be ingrained to stop Covid-19 spread Behaviours including hand washing, using and disposing of tissues, and not touching the eyes, mouth or nose, all need to be ingrained in the general population to prevent the spread of Covid-19, explains Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (17 April 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 17 mins 19 secs)
  • Will there be enough Covid-19 vaccines for everyone? Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) comments on the universal availability of vaccines as manufacturers race to create a Covid-19 vaccine. (17 April 2020) Read: Nature
  • "You are only as healthy as your neighbour is"   Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) discusses the eurozone and the need for countries to collectively invest more in economic structures for growth. (17 April 2020) Watch: Bloomberg   (from 5 mins 35 secs)
  • "We can’t cope with a second wave" of Covid-19 Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) discusses how NHS staff are coping with patients in intensive care and pays tribute to nurses. (17 April 2020) Watch: Channel 4
  • Coronavirus response: why Cuba is such an interesting case Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) and Dr Emily Morris (UCL Institute of the Americas) look at how Cuba responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the different challenges it faced compared to other countries. (17 April 2020) Read: The Conversation
  • UK Likely to face further waves of Covid-19 Herd immunity will not occur in the UK at any point in the near future, and avoiding successive waves of Covid-19 should be a priority, argues Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health). (17 April 2020) Read: ITV News , More: Metro , Telegraph (£) , Mail Online , Mail Online (2) , Independent , Sun , Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Chiles on Friday’ (from 1 hour 8 mins 15 secs) , BBC Radio 2’s ’Ken Bruce Show’ (from 1 hour 30 mins 37 secs) , Watch: BBC News
  • "Bizarrely strong" evidence that smoking may help prevent coronavirus Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments on research which surveyed over 5000 patients in China, of which only 6.5% of those infected with Covid-19 were smokers. (17 April 2020) Read: Express
  • Could bias affect our behaviour during the lockdown?  Professor Tali Sharot (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Dr Toby Wise (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) speak about how unconscious bias can play a role in how we behave during a pandemic. (17 April 2020) Read: BBC Future
  • Clapping NHS without strengthening the system is "an insult" Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) talks economic conditions and the chance to rethink capitalism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (16 April 2020) Watch: Channel 4 News
  • Next pandemic on its way, unless humans change interactions with wildlife Professor Kate Jones (UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research) says a shift in how people interact with animals is needed to avoid biosecurity risks that could lead to other viruses jumping from wildlife to people. (15 April 2020) Read: Washington Post ,  More: CBS News ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’The Newsroom’ (from 14 mins 25 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 52 mins)
  • How and when will Covid-19 lockdown be lifted? Dr Joe Grove (UCL Infection & Immunity), Professor David Alexander and Professor Ilan Kelman (both UCL Risk & Disaster Reduction) give their views on how the Covid-19 lockdown could be lifted, and when in the timeline of the virus it is likely to be relaxed. (16 April 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) , More: Express , Mail Online , Mail Online (2)
  • New study shows psychological and social effects of Covid-19 A study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Behavioural Science & Health) is looking into the psychological and social effects of Covid-19 in the UK, recruiting a large sample of adults in the UK to help understand the effects of coronavirus and social distancing on individuals. (16 April 2020) Read: Mail Online , More: Times (£) , FT (£) , Mail Online (2)   Huffington Post
  • Requisition private school land so people without gardens can exercise During the Covid-19 pandemic private school land should be open to the public so that those without gardens can exercise, as the poorest are most affected by the crisis, argue Professor Susan Michie and Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (both UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (16 April 2020) Read: Guardian , More: The National (UAE)
  • Happiness "all about anticipation" As most major events have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Tali Sharot (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains that this could have a worrying impact on happiness now that people have very little to look forward to. (16 April 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Plans for a virtual parliament MPs should stay away from Westminster as much as possible both to reduce their risk of catching Covid-19, but also to set a national example, says Professor Meg Russell (UCL Constitution Unit). (16 April 2020) Read: Metro ,  More: Mail Online ,  Herald Scotland ,  Mirror ,  Conservative Homes ,  UCL News  
  • Connecting without touch during Covid-19 pandemic Touch is extremely important, even in a touch-averse society such as the UK, and the removal of physical contact during the Covid-19 pandemic is a major social problem, says Professor Carey Jewitt (UCL Institute of Education). (16 April 2020) Read: BBC News
  • Covid-19 will change restaurants in the UK The UK restaurant industry will need to "fundamentally rethink what it even means to be a restaurant" after the Covid-19 pandemic, says Dr Vaughn Tan (UCL School of Management). (16 April 2020) Read: Guardian , Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’The Food Programme’ (from 18 mins 30 secs)
  • Intensive care at hospitals explained Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine) explains why Boris Johnson would have been moved to intensive care and the type of treatment patients typically receive. (16 April 2020) Read: ITV News
  • Could Covid-19 help end our addiction to flying? As the vast majority of planes are currently grounded, Transport researcher Nicole Badstuber (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) gives ideas of how the aviation industry’s huge carbon footprint could be reduced once the pandemic is over. (16 April 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Poor areas more susceptible to virus outbreaks "Refugee and minority populations live in poor quality, densely occupied accommodation with insecure working conditions," leading to higher disease risk, explains Honorary Professor Carolyn Stephens (UCL Bartlett School of Planning). (16 April 2020) Read: Mail Online
  • Long term healthcare investment needed to prevent future pandemics Pandemics like Covid-19 can be stopped in future if more is invested in healthcare, international co-operation and monitor for potential viruses before they become major threats, explains Professor Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction). (16 April 2020) Read: Express
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  • How to clean your makeup equipment during Covid-19 pandemic Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) explains the best methods to clean makeup equipment during the coronavirus lockdown, and recommends only using makeup at home. (16 April 2020) Read: Cosmopolitan , More: MSN
  • Investigating why people from ethnic minorities seem disproportionately affected by Covid-19 Social circumstances, the prevalence of the virus in London, which as a high ethnic minority population, and genetic factors are all possible reasons why Covid-19 seems to disproportionately affect ethnic minorities in the UK, says Dr Riyaz Patel (UCL Cardiovascular Science). (16 April 2020) Read: Times (£) , More: Mail Online ,  Metro ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3)
  • Spit test for Covid-19 could be alternative to swabs A test which requires patients to spit into a tube which is then sealed and sent for testing could be a way to test for Covid-19 without using swabs, which are currently in short supply, explains Professor Philip Beales (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (16 April 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • How realistic are pandemic films? Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) and Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) discuss the fictional pandemics in various films and discuss whether they’re realistic with relation to Covid-19. (16 April 2020) Read: Vice
  • What’s next for UK pandemic response? Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) discusses potential ways forward for the UK and how to best manage Covid-19 cases whilst also implementing an exit strategy. (16 April 2020) Read: FT , Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 22 mins 15 secs) , Watch: Channel 4 News
  • The role of religion in pandemics Professor David Napier (UCL Anthropology) discusses the benefits and issues that strong religious beliefs may offer during a pandemic. (16 April 2020) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 18 mins 40 secs)
  • President Trump "systematically downplayed severity" of Covid-19 pandemic President Donald Trump made a series of missteps in his and his administration’s response to Covid-19 which he is now refusing to take responsibility for, says Dr Brian Klaas (UCL School of European Languages, Culture & Society). (16 April 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Emma Barnett Show’ (from 2 hours 17 mins)
  • Boris Johnson in hospital Professor Robert Hazell (UCL Constitution Unit) outlines what would happen if the Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to delay returning to office, and the role and powers of Dominic Raab, who leads the government his absence. (16 April 2020) Read: The Conversation
  • What Covid-19 can teach us about governance Dr Peter JS Jones and Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) write about the lessons that can be learned from the coronavirus pandemic that can be applied to the climate change crisis and biodiversity loss. (16 April 2020) Read: The Ecologist
  • Russia’s legislative powers during the coronavirus crisis In a new opinion article, co-authored by Dr Ben Noble (UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies) he discusses how legislative powers in Russia have been affected by the coronavirus crisis. (16 April 2020) Read: Vedomosti (Russia)
  • How Europe’s monarchs stepped up as their nations faced the crisis Professor Robert Hazell and Dr Bob Morris (UCL Constitution Unit) write about the role of the monarchy during the coronavirus pandemic, with analysis of the British Queen’s address to the nation. (16 April 2020) Read: The Conversation ,  More: New European
  • Who’s in charge whilst the Prime Minister is in hospital? Dominic Raab will take over functions that require the presence of a physical person whilst the Prime Minister is in hospital, but he will be supported by, amongst others, the senior civil service, says Professor Robert Hazell (UCL Constitution Unit). (08 April 2020) Read: Independent , More: Guardian
  • Designs of life-saving breathing aid made freely available The designs of a new breathing aid developed by Professor Rebecca Shipley, Professor Tim Baker (both UCL Mechanical Engineering) and Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine) working with Mercedes-AMG HPP and UCLH have been made freely available to support the global response to Covid-19. (08 April 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Mail Online ,  ITV News ,  Evening Standard ,  Sky News ,  Yahoo! News ,  Conversation ,   UCL News ,  i News ,  Mirror ,  Times (£) ,  FT (£) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 2’s ’Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ (from 2 hours 1 min 40 secs) ,  More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Geoff Lloyd Show’ (from 1 hour 1 min 10 secs) ,  BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Drive’ (from 1 min 43 secs) ,  BBC World Service’s ’Newsroom’ (from 19 mins 55 secs) ,  BBC Radio 4’s ’Six O’ Clock News’ (from 16 mins 50 secs) ,   Watch: BBC News at 10 (from 16 mins 55 secs) ,  More: BBC News at 6 (from 15 mins)
  • Signs that show a patient needs to be moved to intensive care The trajectory of a patient’s illness can signal whether they need moving to intensive care, but so can deep and fast breathing, with many patients moved to intensive care as a cautionary measure in case they decline suddenly, explains Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine). (08 April 2020) Watch: Channel 4 News
  • School closures do not have a significant effect on Covid-19 spread The evidence to support the closure of schools to combat Covid-19 is "very weak" and school closures are likely to  have minimal impact on the spread of the virus, finds a new study led by Professor Russell Viner (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (07 April 2020) Read: BBC News , More: Guardian , i News , Telegraph (£) , Mail Online , BBC News (2) , Sun , Express , Yahoo! News , Mail Online (2) , Schools Week , FT , Independent , ITV News , Spectator (£) , Sun (2) South China Morning Post , Sun (3), Telegraph (£) (2), Express (2), FT (£) (2), Sun (4) , Mail Online (3), Sun (5) , Metro , Mail Online (4) , Express (3) , Spectator (£) (2), Mail Online (5) , Telegraph (£)  (3) , Mail Online (6) , Sun (6) , MSN News , AOL News , Mirror , Telegraph (£) (4) , Mirror (2) , Metro (2) ,   UCL News , Watch: BBC News at One (from 23 mins 51 secs) , ITV’s ’This Morning’ (from 35 mins 50 secs) , Channel 5’s ’Jeremy Vine Show’ (from 13 mins 45 secs) Listen: BBC Radio’s ’Newsbeat’ (from 8 mins 26 secs) , More: BBC Radio 5’s ’Nihal Arthanayake Show’ (from 1 hour 3 mins 13 secs) , Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Your Call’ (from 37 mins 6 secs) , BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 30 mins 36 secs) , BBC Radio 2’s ’Ken Bruce Show’ (from 30 mins 30 secs) , BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 2 hours 4 mins 21 secs) , BBC Radio 2’s ’Zoe Ball Breakfast Show’ (from 2 hours 31 mins 30 secs) , BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 38 mins 3 secs)
  • Using the world’s most powerful supercomputers to tackle COVID-19 The world’s most powerful supercomputers are being used by UCL researchers, led by Professor Peter Coveney (UCL Chemistry), for urgent investigations into Covid-19 with the aim of accelerating the development of treatments, including antiviral drugs and vaccines. (07 April 2020) Read: ITV News ,  More: Mail Online ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Newsweek ,  Süddeutsche Zeitung (£)(Germany) ,  AOL ,  UCL News ,  Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Digital Planet’ (from 3 mins 38 secs)
  • HSBC made the rational commercial response to Covid-19 HSBC’s decision to cut dividends due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact has angered shareholders but makes sense in the current economic climate, argues Professor Marc Moore (UCL Laws) in a letter to the FT. (07 April 2020) Read: FT
  • How lockdown is lifted "depends on scientific evidence" Whilst there are numerous different ways in which a lockdown could be eased, the path taken by the UK will depend on the scientific evidence at the time, explains Professor Susan Michie (( UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (07 April 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Your Call’ (from 41 mins 3 secs) , More: BBC Radio 5’s ’5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 43 mins 37 secs)
  • Privacy experts push a decentralized approach to Covid-19 contact tracing. Dr Michael Veale (UCL Laws), and data experts from across Europe, have proposed a decentralized system for Bluetooth-based Covid-19 contacts tracing which they argue offers greater protection against abuse and misuse of people’s data than centralised systems. (7 April 2020)  Read: NBC News.   More: Yahoo! News,  TechCrunch,   Mail Online ,  AOL News ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Sun ,  FT (£) ,  BBC News ,  UCL News
  • What will the future of the Covid-19 pandemic look like? Professor Eric Brunner (Institute of Epidemiology & Health) discusses what he thinks will happen going forward with relation to Covid-19, citing the need for more testing and the likelihood of some form of lockdown continuing until a vaccine is available. (06 April 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Minimising hospital overload "critical" in coronavirus fight "I personally, cannot see any viable alternative to ensuring immunity builds up in the population, through infection or vaccination. What is critical is to minimise hospital overload," explains Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). Read: Guardian (06 April 2020)
  • How to safely transition out of Coronavirus lockdown An article co-authored by Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for the Study of Decision-making Uncertainty) sets out a three-tiered plan to safely transition from lockdown back to everyday life as the Covid-19 pandemic ends. (06 April 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: City A.M.,  City A.M. (2) ,  The Week ,  Guardian ,  Spectator ,  Mail on Sunday
  • Google searches could help show Covid-19 hotspots Searches for coronavirus symptoms including shortness of breath, fever and loss of smell increase in areas where cases of Covid-19 are particularly high, meaning they could help highlight other hotspots, explains Dr Vasileios Lampos (UCL Computer Science). (06 April 2020) Read: New York Times
  • Nightingale hospital "an amazing achievement" The building of the Nightingale hospital in London in less than two weeks is impressive, but not without precedent as military and civilian groups often come together in disaster zones, says Dr Simon Addyman (UCL Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management). (06 April 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Opinion: the Coronavirus Act 2020 is extremely dangerous for disabled people like me The removal of local councils’ obligation to provide care for disabled people unless it is a breach of their human rights is an example of disregard for the disabled during a time of national crisis, argues Dr Sarabajaya Kumar (UCL Political Science). (06 April 2020) Read: Huffington Post
  • Multiple reasons for UK school closures School closures in response to Covid-19 are not only to slow the spread of the virus, but also due to the difficulty of keeping schools open if teachers are ill or parents are keeping children home, says Dr Charlotte Jackson (UCL Institute of Clinical Trials & Methodology). (03 April 2020) Read: Yahoo! News , More: MSN News
  • Animal coronavirus reservoirs "another potential concerning development" Research which suggests some animals may be capable of carrying and transmitting Covid-19 is "another potential concerning development" and "Animal reservoirs for Covid-19 would not help," says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). (03 April 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Covid-19 study helps explain why virus is so infectious A study of patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms "helps explain why the virus is so infectious; it can be transmitted by droplets from the upper respiratory tract" before people know that they have an infection, says Professor Rosalind Smyth (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (03 April 2020) Read: Channel 4 News
  • Covid-19: ’Recall clause’ could alleviate worker anxiety A ’recall clause’ for workers employed by businesses significantly hit by the coronavirus pandemic could help alleviate worker anxiety, and encourage them to take stopgap jobs that are urgently required to face the heath crisis, suggests a new study UCL study.(3 April 2020) Read: Vox , More: UCL News
  • British policing during Covid-19 pandemic Professor Colm O’Cinneide (UCL Laws) discusses the British police response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the cultural tradition of policing in Britain and the lighter touch they have than many other European countries. (02 April 2020) Read: New York Times
  • Will the spread of covid-19 be affected by changing seasons? Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute) says that "seasonality of difficult to predict". He is also quoted in articles about variation in reported deaths in the UK, and controversial claims of an anti-malarial drug to fight COVID-19. (02 April 2020) Read: New Scientist ,  More: The Guardian ,  Daily Mail ,  Voice of America
  • President Bolsonaro making a calculated bet with coronavirus strategy Brazilian president Bolsonaro is likely relying on governors to implement Covid-19 protection measures whilst he continues to preach on economic growth so that he can reap the benefits of both stances, says Dr Malu Gatto (UCL Institute of the Americas). (03 April 2020) Read: New York Times , More: International New York Times
  • Private schools facing "triple whammy" of economic issues during Covid-19 pandemic Professor Francis Green (UCL Institute of Education) explains that the direct effects of the coronavirus, the economic effects as their parents run into financial problems and the increased costs of teachers’ pensions are all causing major issues for UK private schools. (02 April 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Europe too slow in acting on Covid-19 Speaking about Covid-19 coronavirus, Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) says "We know we can get this under control. The problem is that Europe has been too slow to act compared with Asia; and America is now facing a huge crisis." (01 April 2020)  Read: Independent (£) ,  More: Mail Online ,  Sun ,  Metro ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Evening Standard ,  Express,   Guardian ,  Sun (2) ,  Express (2) ,  Guardian (2) ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Guardian (3) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 35 mins 35 secs)
  • How to clean your jewellery during Covid-19 pandemic Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) explains the best method to clean jewellery, and says that simple rings are easier to keep clean than ornate ones as there are less places for "grease, grime and microbes to get into". (01 April 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • UK was too complacent on Covid-19 In an article and letter discussing the lack of widespread testing for Covid-19, Dr Tim Colbourn (UCL Institute for Global Health) says "The UK was complacent and didn’t think it could happen here...We didn’t see the signs quickly." (01 April 2020) Read: Times (£) , More: Times (2) (£) ,  Mail Online
  • Pandemic preparation not an easy sell to governments It’s hard to convince governments to prepare for a potential pandemics as it means "telling governments what they don’t want to know, to spend money they don’t have, on something they don’t think will happen," says Professor David Alexander (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction). (01 April 2020) Read: Guardian , More: New Statesman ,  Independent
  • Increased government spending needs a post-Covid-19 plan Increased spending may help keep the economy afloat in the short-term, but a longer term plan is needed to deal with the increase in debt once the Covid-19 pandemic is over, warns Simone Gasperin (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) in a letter to the FT. (01 April 2020) Read: FT (£)
  • Warm weather may stifle Covid-19 Analysing three other common coronaviruses, a study led by Dr Rob Aldridge (UCL Health Informatics) has found that only small amounts of the virus were transmitted in the summer months, a finding that may also be applicable to Covid-19. (31 March 2020)   Read: Telegraph (£) ,  More: Mail Online ,  Mirror ,  Express ,  Sun ,  Yahoo! News ,  Express (2) ,  Guardian ,  i News ,  i News (2) ,  BBC News ,  UCL News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4 ’Today’ (from 53 mins 26 secs)
  • Focus on mental health welcome during coronavirus crisis The focus on mental health is welcome during the Covid-19 pandemic, but more should be done to include the sections of society that will be pushed further into hardship and difficult circumstances by the crisis, says Dr Rochelle Burgess (UCL Institute for Global Health). (31 March 2020) Read: Yahoo! News
  • Stop in exponential growth of Covid-19 cases a positive sign Whilst cases of Covid-19 are increasing in the UK, they are no longer growing exponentially, explains Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Division of Medicine) in an interview which also covers availability of beds an

    d ventilators. (31 March 2020) Watch: Channel 4 News
  • Leaders should "practice what they preach" on coronavirus mitigation As Prime Minister Boris Johnson contracts Covid-19, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) says: "If leaders do not adhere to their own recommendations, this undermines trust in them, which in turn can undermine the population’s adherence to their advice." (30 March 2020) Read: Guardian , More: Sun , Mirror , Metro , Telegraph (£) , Sun (2) , New European (£) , Yahoo! News, Yahoo! News (2) , Yahoo! News (3)
  • Household cleaning products which are effective against coronavirus Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) gives tips on which household products are best at killing Covid-19 coronavirus. (30 March 2020) Read: The Conversation , More: Sun , New Zealand Herald
  • "No evidence of anyone getting Covid-19 from handling or eating food" Professor Pierre-Marc Bouloux (UCL Medicine) says that whilst normal food safety practices should continue to be followed, there does not seem to be a risk of catching Covid-19 coronavirus from food. (30 March 2020) Read: Evening Standard , More: Yahoo! News
  • We must not return to status quo after coronavirus The current Covid-19 pandemic has shown that austerity was a choice and that things can be done differently if the political will is there - and the same sense of crisis should be applied to the climate emergency, argues Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (30 March 2020) Read: Guardian , More: Independent , i News ,  Independent (2)
  • Drug policy and coronavirus Those using drugs problematically need support during the current Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, as they are amongst the most vulnerable members of society, argues a letter to the Times signed by Honorary Clinical Reader Dr Adam Winstock (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (30 March 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Disease diplomacy with North Korea unlike to lead to diplomatic change "There are no clear-cut historical examples of disease diplomacy, medical diplomacy, disaster diplomacy where we saw new lasting diplomatic change," warns Ilan Kelman (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction) in light of US President Donald Trump’s ’disaster diplomacy’. (30 March 2020) Read: New York Times
  • UCL, UCLH and Formula One develop life-saving breathing aids for the NHS A breathing aid that can help keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care has been adapted by a team including Professor Rebecca Shipley, Professor Tim Baker (both UCL Mechanical Engineering) and Professor Mervyn Singer (UCL Medicine), working with UCLH and Mercedes-AMG HPP. (30 March 2020) Read: BBC News ,  More: Mail Online ,  Express ,  Metro ,  Guardian ,  Telegraph (£) ,  Times (£) ,  Scotsman ,  Independent ,  Al Jazeera ,  Sky News ,  ITV News ,  Bloomberg ,  Mirror ,  Sun ,  Star ,  Huffington Post ,  New York Post ,  Evening Standard ,  i News ,  Top Gear ,  Sky Sports ,  ESPN ,  CNN ,  Fox News ,  Newsweek ,  Forbes ,  The National (UAE) ,  Gulf News ,  Straits Times ,  Channel News Asia ,  Arab News ,  Jakarta Post ,  Free Malaysia Post ,  MSN News ,  MSN News (2) ,  Yahoo! News ,  CNN,   FT ,  Reuters ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Metro (2) ,  i News (2) ,  New Scientist ,  Irish News ,  City A.M. ,  BMJ ,  Mirror (2) ,  GQ ,  Unilad ,  The South African ,  Sunday Times Driving ,  TalkSport ,  The Week ,  The Tab ,  Guardian (2) ,  Times (2) (£) ,  Telegraph (2) (£) ,  Guardian (3) ,  Express (2) ,  Express (3) ,  Telegraph (3) (£) ,  Telegraph (4) (£ ),  Mirror (3) ,  Guardian (4) ,  Mail Online (5) ,  New Zealand Herald ,  Yahoo! News (2) ,  Huffington Post ,  FT (2) (£) ,  Sunday Times (£) ,  Times (3) (£) ,  Times (4) (£) ,  Mirror (4) ,  The National (UAE) (2) ,  UCL News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today’ programme (from 53 mins 58 secs)  and throughout the day on news bulletins,  Watch: BBC One’s ’BBC Breakfast’ (from 1 hr 10 mins)  and throughout the day on BBC News,  ITV’s ’Teatime News’ (from 10 mins 43 secs) ,  BBC One’s ’News at Six’ (from 13 mins 48 secs)
  • Official UK coronavirus data "so misleading that it should not be used" Official UK data on the Covid-19 infection rate is inaccurate, with a conservative estimate putting the true number of people infected in the UK at 5-10 times higher than official data claims, says Professor Rosalind Smyth (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (30 March 2020) Read: FT (£) ,  More: Express
  • The Kremlin is terrified that Putin will catch Covid-19 In a new opinion article, Dr Ben Noble (UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies) comments on Vladimir Putin’s succession problem in the context of the coronavirus. (30 March 2020) Read: Telegraph ,  More: UCL News
  • Estate agents likely badly affected by Covid-19 A slowdown in the housing market due to Covid-19 would impact the estate agent market as well "unless they can access government help for businesses quickly to sustain themselves," says Honorary Professor Noble Francis (UCL Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management). (27 March 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Video calling good for mental wellbeing and happiness Video calling is just as good for people’s happiness as face-to-face interaction, and far better than phone or text conversations, explains Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). (26 March 2020) Read: Sky News ,  More: Guardian


  • Why we need to consult engineers as well as scientists for solutions Dr Adam Cooper (UCL STEaPP) argues that the current response to Covid-19 coronavirus would be improved if the expertise of engineers was better utilised. (25 March 2020) Read: The Conversation

  • Medical students volunteer to help NHS staff with childcare and household chores As the Covid-19 outbreak increases pressure on NHS services and frontline staff, medical students at UCL are volunteering to look after doctors’ and nurses’ children and help out with other day-to-day jobs, such as dog walking and shopping. (25 March 2020) Read: Evening Standard , More: Yahoo! News , UCL News
  • Efforts to step up testing "very welcome" Efforts to increase testing and the call for academic staff to volunteer for the NHS are both welcome moves and ""If they had been done a month ago, we wouldn’t need to be in lockdown now," says Dr Tim Colbourn (UCL Institute for Global Health). (25 March 2020) Read: FT (£) ,  More: Mirror ,  Guardian ,  Express ,  Yahoo! News ,  Reuters
  • Be cautious using self-checkouts during Covid-19 pandemic Supermarket self-checkouts are likely to be hotspots for Covid-19 coronavirus due to the amount of people using them, and you should wash your hands before unpacking your shopping once you’ve used one, says Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering). (25 March 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Understanding gender disparity in Covid-19 mortality rates crucial Data suggest men are more likely than women to die from Covid-19 coronavirus, and understanding why could alter the way we administer treatment to vulnerable groups, explains Professor Sarah Hawkes (UCL Institute for Global Health). (25 March 2020) Read: CNN , More: BMJ
  • New study into psychological and social effects of Covid-19 A study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Behavioural Science & Health) is looking into the psychological and social effects of Covid-19 in the UK, recruiting a large sample of adults in the UK to help understand the effects of coronavirus and social distancing on individuals. (25 March 2020) Read: Metro , More: UCL News
  • How long can Covid-19 survive outside the body? Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains that viruses need to be inside another cell to survive, and how estimates of the length of time Covid-19 coronavirus can survive are based on analysis of related viruses such as SARS, as well as original research. (24 March 2020) Listen: Guardian Science Weekly
  • Covid-19 three times more infectious than ordinary flu Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Medicine) explains how the infection rate of Covid-19 coronavirus could lead to someone with the illness passing it on to thousands of others by only directly infecting 10 people. (24 March 2020) Read: Independent , More: Metro , Express , Huffington Post ,  Watch: Channel 4 News , More: Mail Online , Express (2)  
  • How to cope with children under lockdown With children off school and under lockdown, parents should cut themselves some slack on ways of coping, including relaxing rules on screen time as "we all need to get through this period, and we all need to stay sane," says Dr Alice Bradbury (UCL Institute of Education). (24 March 2020) Read: Grazia , More: MSN News
  • Awarding students predicted grades "as fair as the alternatives" In light of exams being cancelled due to Covid-19 coronavirus, awarding students their predicted grades is the simplest and most fair alternative, argues Professor John Jerrim (UCL Institute of Education). (23 March 2020) Read: i News
  • How data can be used to track population during Covid-19 lockdown Location data can show areas of high activity during a lockdown and pave the way for more targeted intervention measures in places people continue to visit, explains Professor James Cheshire (UCL Geography). (23 March 2020) Read: Guardian
  • UCL working to design and produce breathing aids for Covid-19 patients Engineers at UCL Mechanical Engineering are working with Formula 1 engineers to design and produce breathing aids for Covid-19 patients. (23 March 2020) Read: Telegraph (£) , More: BBC News
  • Panic buying and the likelihood of rationing during Covid-19 pandemic Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) explains the psychology of panic buying and why the collective spirit invoked by rationing may actually help people pull together during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (23 March 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Preventing and containing Covid-19 outbreaks in prisons Reducing Covid-19 coronavirus spread by "moving the most vulnerable prisoners to less-crowded parts of the prison system, where outbreaks are easier to prevent and contain...could save many lives," Explains Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (23 March 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Coronavirus shows holes in UK pandemic planning  The density of London’s population could prove a challenge for any potential lockdown, and the current Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is showing the holes in current UK pandemic planning, Explains Professor David Alexander (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction). (23 March 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • The ultimate guide to healthy home working PhD researcher Dave Cook (UCL Anthropology) and Professor Anna Cox (UCL Interaction Centre) share their research insights on coping with isolation to creating an imaginary commute and using breaks as a reward. (23 March 2020) Read: Telegraph (£)
  • Don’t overburden children during Covid-19 isolation Parents should resist the urge to over-educate their children whilst schools are closed, instead making sure to encourage them to pursue their interests and hobbies as well as completing set school work, says Dr Sandra Leaton Gray (UCL Institute of Education). (23 March 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • UK strategy likely to cause 35,000-70,000 excess deaths, says study New estimates of excess mortality from COVID-19 suggest stronger suppression measures are needed finds a new study led by Dr Amitava Banerjee and Professor Harry Hemingway (both UCL Institute of Health Informatics). (23 March 2020) Read: FT ,  More: Mirror ,  Times ,  Express ,  Independent ,  FT (Chinese) ,  Sun ,  Guardian ,  Business Insider ,  Business Insider India ,  Express (2) ,  UCL News
  • Government economic response needs to go further The Government response to Covid-19 doesn’t go far enough to stop an economic collapse, with self-employed workers needing support and universal credit unable to cope with new demand, argues a letter signed by Laurie Macfarlane (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose). (23 March 2020) Read: Times (£)
  • Covid-19 coronavirus and human behaviour Professor Susan Michie ( UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discusses how best to support and engage citizens in an extended quarantine and stresses the need for clarity from the government on what is and isn’t allowed, as well as what people in the UK would put up with. (23 March 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 10 mins 50 secs) ,  More: BBC World Service’s ’The Evidence’ (from 27 mins 30 secs) ,  Watch: Channel 4 News
  • Is Italy turning the tide on Coronavirus? After a slowdown in the numbers of newly infected people in Italy, Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health) discusses how their measures may be helping and whether the country is turning the tide, or the latest figures are just a statistical anomaly. (23 March 2020) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’Newshour’ (from 18 mins 4 secs)
  • South Korea coronavirus control due to acceptance of surveillance South Korea has been so effective at halting the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus not just because of testing, but also because citizens are willing to accept extreme levels of surveillance, argues Dr Jung Won Son (UCL Bartlett School of Planning). (20 March 2020) Read: The Conversation , More: CNA (Singapore) , Yahoo! New s
  • Children face little risk from Covid-19 coronavirus "What we know about the novel coronaviruses, including COVID-19, is children are at very little risk of infection," explains Professor Russell Viner (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). (20 March 2020) Read: Mail Online ,  More: Mail Online (2)
  • How to care for homeless with coronavirus Agencies should stop bringing homeless people into shared spaces, instead supporting them on the street and opening places where they can be tested for symptoms, explains Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health). (20 March 2020) Read: New Statesman
  • School closures could lead to loss of income and disruption As schools close and parents are urged not to leave their children with grandparents, Dr Charlotte Jackson (UCL Institute of Clinical Trials & Methodology) warns that "Parents may need to miss work leading to loss of income and wider disruption." (20 March 2020) Read: Yahoo! News
  • London underground is "perfect breeding ground" for coronavirus The proximity of other people, the length of commutes and the humidity of the London underground system make it a "perfect breeding ground" for Covid-19 coronavirus, explains Oksana Pyzik (UCL Pharmacy). (20 March 2020) Read: Express
  • Take control of what you can to minimise coronavirus risk Dr Guy Harling (UCL Institute for Global Health) answers listener questions on Covid-19 coronavirus, giving advice on how to minimise risk of catching the disease and spreading it to others. (20 March 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Nihal Arthanayake Show’ (from 16 mins 13 secs)
  • Remote working is the new normal and it comes with hidden risks   PhD researcher Dave Cook (UCL Anthropology) explains some of the common pitfalls of remote working, to help the millions of people expected to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic. (18 March) Read: The Conversation.   More: UCL News.
  • Is social shaming needed to stop gatherings during Covid-19 pandemic? Dr Hannah Knox discusses the idea that shaming those who continue to gather by friends and family could be needed to help prevent social gatherings and stop the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus. (18 March 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Emma Barnett Show’ (from 47 mins 33 secs)
  • Covid-19 smartphone app may not be as simple as it seems Dr Hannah Fry (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) explains the pitfalls of an app which monitors Covid-19 coronavirus, saying "It’s not as simple as ’Have you crossed paths with someone who has the virus.’ You can sit within a few meters of someone and not be at risk." (18 March 2020) Read: Mail Online
  • How can we manage the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic? Dr Jenny Rohn (UCL Medicine) writes about the challenges faced by public health officials making decisions about Covid-19 coronavirus based on limited and ever-changing evidence. (18 March 2020) Read: Guardian
  • Relentless testing is vital in combating Covid-19 pandemic Widespread testing and early detection could be one of the most effective tools in containing the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, argues Professor Ariberto Fassati (Infection & Immunity) in a letter to the Financial Times. (18 March 2020) Read: FT
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    li#&close&# Paying for the coronavirus crisis Visiting Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL Centre for the Study of Decision-making Uncertainty) discusses different economic approaches to dealing with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (18 March 2020) Read: City A.M.
  • Coronavirus study projections show "tough times ahead" A modelling study based on Covid-19 coronavirus infection data from Italy is "sobering" and shows "tough times ahead" says Dr Tim Colbourn (UCL Institute for Global Health). (17 March 2020) Read: FT , More: Mail Online , Reuters , Yahoo! News , Straits Times ,  Oman Observer
  • Government communication during the Covid-19 pandemic Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Health) discusses the effectiveness of the government’s current communication strategy relating to the Covid-19 coronavirus and the important of clear and open information. (17 March 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 31 mins 30 secs)
  • UCL to release clinical academics for frontline NHS duties Due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, UCL has made the decision to release clinical academics back to frontline NHS duties. Professor David Lomas, Vice-Provost (Health), explains the decision. (17 March 2020) Read: Guardian , More: Yahoo! News
  • Predicting the extent of Covid-19 coronavirus Discussing the Covid-19 coronavirus, Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says: "In the absence of intervention, I would expect between 20 to 30 per cent of the population will be infected by the summer." (16 March 2020) Read: Mail Online , More: Express , AOL News ,  Gulf News , Telegraph ,  Telegraph (2) , Yahoo! News
  • Covid-19 coronavirus and human behaviour Professor Susan Michie ( UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) discusses whether citizens would follow an extended quarantine and what people should be doing during the Covid-19 pandemic. (16 March 2020) Read: Guardian , More: Telegraph (£) , Times (£) ,  Telegraph (2) (£)
  • Critiquing the government response to Covid-19 coronavirus The current government response to the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t go far enough, and we should be emulating responses like those in China, South Korea and Japan, argues Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) (16 March 2020) Read: Independent (£) ,  More: Mail Online ,  Sun ,  Metro ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Evening Standard ,  Express,   Guardian ,  Sun (2) ,  Express (2) ,  Guardian (2) ,  Mail Online (4) ,  Guardian (3) ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 35 mins 35 secs) ,  Watch: Channel 4 News
  • Coronavirus Covid-19: How to clean your smartphone safely Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) explains the best way to clean a smartphone effectively without damaging the device. (16 March 2020) Listen: BBC World Service’s ’BBC OS’ (from 48 mins 48 secs)
  • Coronavirus modelling ’must be made clear’ Evidence which supports the government’s current strategy regarding Covid-19 coronavirus should be made publicly available, argues a letter signed by Dr Miriam Orcutt (UCL Institute for Global Health). (16 March 2020) Read: Times (£) , More: i News
  • Public health response to the coronavirus pandemic. Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery (UCL Laws) discusses public health planning in a crisis, increasing capacity and training more staff to look after patients with respiratory problems and comorbidities 16 March.  Listen:  TalkRadio  (from 14 mins 30 secs).
  • Existing drugs may play key role in coronavirus treatment Patients with severe COVID-19 should be tested for hyperinflammation, caused by an overactive immune response to the virus, and clinical trials are needed to determine if immunosuppressants can help reduce deaths, says Dr Puja Mehta (UCL Medicine). (16 March 2020) Read: i News
  • Coronavirus and social distancing: is it risky to go to the pub or gym?   Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute) and Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) answer questions about how to stay safe over the weekend. (13 March 2020) Read: The Guardian ,  More: MSN News ,  Yahoo! News
  • Should the UK bring in social distancing measures now?   Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Professor Anthony Costello (UCL Institute for Global Health) discuss the merits of the government’s response to coronavirus and whether more drastic ’lockdown’ measures should be adopted. (13 March 2020 ) Watch: BBC Two’s ’Newsnight’ (from 24 mins 22 secs) ,  Read: BBC New s
  • Coronavirus Covid-19: How to clean your smartphone safely   Dr Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) explains the best way to clean a smartphone effectively without damaging the device.  (13 March 2020 ) Watch: BBC News
  • Should clubs close to prevent coronavirus Covid-19 spread?   Clubs closing to stop coronavirus Covid-19 spread is sensible as "Clubbing involves crowded conditions on the dance floor, and participants inevitably get sweaty, which would help viruses linger on smears left on surfaces," says Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine).  (13 March 2020 ) Read: New York Times
  • Coronavirus Covid-19 testing needs to be more widespread   The Government’s new measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 are welcome, says Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity), but more needs to be done to ensure those who self-isolate are being tested, argues Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine).(13 March 2020) Read: Guardian ,  More: Mail Online
  • What can Britain learn about containing Covid-19 from countries that got it right?     Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Institute for Global Health) says "The critical thing is to have very strong surveillance systems that will give you early warning of infection". And then "to achieve rapid contact tracing and testing, and rapid isolation". ( 12 March 2020)  Read: The Guardian  
  • ’[The government] are treating it as a war-time scenario’     Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) discusses the government’s response to coronavirus and how emergency measures can be used to stimulate future growth and innovation. ( 12 March 2020 )  Watch: Channel 4 News  
  • COVID-19 outbreak classified as pandemic   Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) says the term pandemic ’should not be taken lightly’, while also telling LBC that homemade hand sanitiser is unlikely to be effective. (12 March 2020)  Listen: BBC Radio 5 news (from 31 mins 48 secs) ,  More: LBC , Watch: BBC News (World)
  • Coronavirus spread shown in graph form   Using existing data on the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Professor Mark Handley (UCL Computer Science) estimates that the UK is currently around 9-14 days behind the current situation in Italy. ( 11 March 2020)  Read: i News ,  More: Sun ,  Mail Online ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Mail Online (3) ,  Times (£) ,  Watch: ITV’s ’Peston’ (from 2 mins 16 secs)  
  • Coronavirus measures need buy-in of whole population   Measures to contain COVID-19 coronavirus will only be effective when the majority of the population adhere to them, so "You need to carry the population with you," when introducing new strategies, explains Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). ( 11 March 2020)  Read: Mail Online ,  More: Yahoo! News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’World at One’ (from 19 mins 15 secs) ,  BBC World Service ’Newshour’ (from 47 mins 57 secs) ,  Watch: BBC 2’s ’The Andrew Neil Show’ (From 9 mins 5 secs)  
  • The coronavirus is Trump’s Chernobyl   Trump’s reaction to coronavirus has worsened its spread, as he as lied about how under control it is and seems more concerned with political self-interest than the safety of the American population, argues Dr Brian Klaas (UCL School of European Languages, Culture and Society). ( 10 March 2020)  Read: Washington Post (£) ,  More: Independent  
  • UK broadband unlikely to cope with mass remote working   As more people work from home due to Covid-19 coronavirus, home broadband is unlikely to be able to cope with the demands of mass internet trading and video calls, warns Professor Izzat Darwazeh (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering). ( 10 March 2020)  Read: Mail Online ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Telegraph (2) (£) ,  Yahoo! News ,  Express
  • UK Covid-19 coronavirus trajectory comparable to northern Italy   "The progress of Covid-19 in the UK is so far roughly comparable to the one in northern Italy, but with the epidemic in northern Italy two to three weeks ahead of the situation in the UK," explains Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). ( 10 March 2020)  Read: Metro ,  More: Telegraph (£) ,  Sun ,  Express ,  Mirror ,  Sun (2) ,  Evening Standard ,  Metro ,  Metro (2) ,  Metro (3) ,  Mail Online ,  Vice ,  New York Post ,  Sun (3) ,  Star ,  Mail Online (2) ,  Telegraph (2) (£) ,  Mail Online (3) , Japan Times, Huffington Post,  TIME (2) ,  Reuters ,  National Post (Canada) ,  TIME (3) ,  Times (£) ,  Sun (4) ,  NBC News ,  Times (2) (£) ,  Sun (5) , NPR , Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Emma Barnett Show’ (from 21 mins 3 secs)  
  • The psychology of panic buying   Because toilet paper has a longer shelf-life than many items, is featured prominently in shops and is large in size, we are more drawn to buying it in times of crisis, explains Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). ( 9 March 2020)  Read: Sky News ,  More: Express ,  Yahoo! News ,  Telegraph (£) ,  CNBC ,  Washington Post , Watch: Huffington Post ,  Telegraph (£)
  • Covid-19: How to triage effectively in a pandemic   While triage may be an effective way to increase population survival, this is not guaranteed and any protocol should be carefully thought through, writes Professor Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) for the BMJ. ( 9 March 2020)   Read: BMJ Blogs  
  • Coronavirus "likely to be here to stay"   COVID-19 coronavirus is likely to remain in the population in the long-term, but fatalities are expected to go down as an increasing proportion of the population builds up immunity to the virus, explains Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). ( 9 March 2020)  Read: Telegraph (£)  
  • Studies of flu could aid understanding of coronavirus   Scientists have conducted extensive studies on flu, and knowledge of how long the virus can survive outside the body and on different surfaces could be applicable to the COVID-19 coronavirus, explains Honorary Lecturer Dr Ben Killingley (UCL Institute of Global Health). ( 5 March 2020)  Read: Sky News ,  More: Yahoo! News  
  • Few primary schools have skills or support for online learning   As some schools consider remote learning to help stem the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, Professor Rose Luckin (UCL Institute of Education) warns that "very few primary schools have the sophisticated technology and the IT support" needed to implement it adequately. ( 5 March 2020)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 1 hour 21 mins 32 secs)  
  • Unclear if UK city quarantine would be effective or possible   Whilst the majority of people in the UK are in favour of city lockdowns to contain coronavirus, it’s unclear whether this would be effective and would likely prove impossible in large cities, explains Professor David Alexander (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction). ( 5 March 2020)  Read: Mail Online  
  • Phone screens are ’a potential route of infection’ for coronavirus   Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says he is sceptical of claims that disinfecting mobile phone screens could reduce the spread of the coronavirus. ( 4 March 2020)  Read: Mail Online
  • How the COVID-19 coronavirus is spreading   Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) speaks about how the inconspicuous symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus help it to spread, contrasting it with more visible viruses such as Ebola. ( 3 March 2020)  Read: Times (£) ,  More: The Australian (£) ,  Watch: Bloomberg ,  Listen: BBC Radio 2’s ’Jo Whiley Show’ (from 1 min 5 secs)  
  • Panic and complacency both bad for containing a virus   Being too complacent or panicking unnecessarily could both contribute to the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, explains Professor Helene Joffe (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). ( 3 March 2020)  Read: i News ,  More: BBC News  
  • How to model the spread of a virus   Dr Hannah Fry (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) discusses how the spread of viruses is simulated and methods of reducing the risk of transmission, with reference to the current COVID-19 coronavirus. ( 2 March 2020)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Today Programme’ (from 52 mins 51 secs) ,  More: BBC World Service’s ’Health Check’ (from 9 mins 24 secs) ,  Read: Express  
  • What can countries do to prepare for COVID-19 coronavirus?   As news breaks that more COVID-19 coronavirus cases are being reported outside China than within it, Professor Therese Hesketh (UCL Institute for Global Health) takes part in a debate on what can be done to limit the spread of the virus. ( 27 February 2020)  Listen: The Economist’s ’Babbage’ podcast (from 6 mins 24 secs)  
  • Did coronavirus jump from animals to people?   Professor Kate Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) comments on the likelihood of bats being the original source of COVID-19 coronavirus, as well as discussing what might explain the rise in infectious diseases coming from animals more generally. ( 25 February 2020)  Read: BBC News ,  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Inside Science’ (from 11 mins 20 secs)
  • Hype and panic over coronavirus misplaced   Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) says people should not be scared of coronavirus and argues there has been "a lot of hype [and] a lot of panic" over the outbreak. ( 17 February 2020)  Listen: BBC Radio 4’s ’Six O’Clock News’ (from 11 mins 19 secs) ,  Watch: BBC2’s ’Victoria Derbyshire’ (from 6 mins 25 secs)  
  • UK not prepared for a pandemic   Public Health England would be overrun if the COVID-19 coronavirus reached pandemic levels, especially as most factories for crucial supplies are in China or Southeast Asia, explains Dr Gordon Woo (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction). ( 17 February 2020)  Read: Times (£)  
  • Restricting UK travel due to coronavirus not feasible   As the UK still has a small number of cases of COVID-19, restricting travel would be an overreaction and is not a feasible measure for the government to implement, argues Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine). ( 13 February 2020)  Watch: ITV News at Ten (from 10 mins 45 secs)  
  • Coronavirus not far off becoming a pandemic   "The 2019-nCov coronavirus outbreak has already surpassed its cousin Sars in terms of the number of cases confirmed," explains Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) who argues the outbreak is close to being declared a pandemic. ( 5 February 2020)  Read: Guardian  
  • Most Googled coronavirus questions answered   Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) answers questions on coronavirus that have been searched for on Google, in a Q&A session with ITV News. ( 5 February 2020)  Watch: ITV News  
  • Quarantining millions in China over coronavirus is wrong   Dr Vageesh Jain (UCL Institute for Global Health) criticises the Chinese Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. "Quarantining millions of healthy people is unprecedented in public health," he argues. ( 31 January 2020)  Read: The Conversation  
  • Coronavirus prevention must learn SARS lessons   "Several unique opportunities to perform studies and evaluations of a range of therapeutic and preventive interventions at the peak of the SARS and MERS outbreaks were lost due to delays," explains Professor Ali Zumla (UCL Infection & Immunity). ( 30 January 2020)  Read: Globe & Mail  
  • Signs, symptoms and precautions against coronavirus   Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Medicine) talks about viruses and vaccines in relation to the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China. ( 28 January 2020) Listen: BBC Radio 5’s ’Sarah Brett’ (from 1 hr 35 mins) ,  More: Bloomberg Radio (from 27 mins 23 secs) ,  BBC World Service’s ’Science in Action’ ,  Watch: Bloomberg ,  More: Yahoo! News ,  Good Morning Britain (from 9 mins 45 secs) ,  Read: Mail Online ,  More: Guardian ,  Yahoo! News  
  • Steps Nigeria is taking to prepare for cases of coronavirus   Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu (UCL Institute for Global Health) explains how Nigeria is preparing in the event of a potential coronavirus outbreak in the wake of reported cases in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Australia and the USA. ( 27 January


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