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Here's why we need Covid models, even if they are controversial | Adam Kucharski

Though scientists are routinely criticised for their projections, calls to wait for precise estimates underplay the urgency of this crisis * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage What is the current level of Covid-19 transmission in the UK? This might sound like a straightforward question, but take a moment to think about what it’s actually asking. Are we interested in how many people will catch the virus from those currently infected? If so, this transmission hasn’t finished yet, which means we’d have to try to predict it somehow. Or maybe the question implies we look backwards, and work out how much transmission there was when people who are currently infected originally picked up the virus. If so, what data should we use to do this? And how confident can we be in the results? These are the sorts of questions that epidemiologists around the world have been grappling with since January, against a background of changing transmission and uncertain knowledge. Continue reading...

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