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MPs probe Omicron modelling and Covid-19 mortality statistics

25 February 2022

The Science and Technology Committee probes covid-19 mortality statistics, following controversy over the way in which they are recorded and communicated, with questions to experts from the Nuffield Trust and the Office for Statistics Regulation.

Purpose of the session

The session will also investigate the epidemiological models produced late in 2021 to indicate potential courses for the Omicron wave of covid-19. The Committee will seek to understand why the numbers of deaths and hospitalisations from the Omicron wave were notably lower than the best-case scenarios predicted last December.

MPs will question senior members of Government’s scientific advisory group SAGE, the Chair of epidemiological modelling group SPI-M, Professor Graham Medley, and Chair of behavioural modelling group SPI-B, Professor Ann John. In a separate panel, the Committee will hear from epidemiologist Dr Raghib Ali who has been critical of mandatory covid-19 restrictions and will also investigate why models of Omicron in Denmark proved more accurate than those in the UK.

This session will be held as part of the Committee’s ongoing scrutiny of the UK response to covid-19.


Wednesday 2 March 2022

Panel one, from 9.30am  

  • Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation and Head of the Office for Statistics Regulation
  • Dr Sarah Scobie, Deputy Director of Research, Nuffield Trust

Panel two from 10.15am

  • Professor Graham Medley, Chair, Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M)

Panel three from 11.00am

  • Dr Raghib Ali, Senior Clinical Research Associate, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Camilla Holten-Møller, Chair, Expert Group for Mathematical Modelling, Statens Serum Institut, Denmark

Further information

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