'The biggest mistake was failing to control the growth of infection in the autumn' - Professor Neil Ferguson
Imperial College Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson said the biggest mistake made by the government during the pandemic was failing to control the rise in infections in the autumn which led to a devastating second wave in the winter.
Mr Ferguson, whose research led to the first UK lockdown, said the UK responded too late back in March but thought the government had 'learned that lesson' by the autumn.
He said the failure to act with strict measures in the autumn was understandable but it set the country up for very high case numbers through the winter.
He said: "It's unfortunate politicians need to see people in hospitals before they react."
Mr Ferguson added that although Health Secretary Matt Hancock may have advocated for tougher measures earlier, the government and cabinet had not been able to reach a consensus on implementing restrictions at the first warning signs.
Me Ferguson's data modelling led to the first lockdown and earned him the nickname 'Prof Lockdown'.
He said he hopes this could be the last nationwide lockdown in the UK but caution is needed as it is still unknown how effective the Covid-19 vaccines are going to be in the real world.