Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care
39 Victoria Street
Ms Amanda Hart
31 July 2020
Dear Ms Hart, Freedom of Information Request Reference FOI-1237451
Thank you for your request dated 3 July in which you asked the Department of Health and Social
Care (DHSC): “Dear Department of Health and Social Care,
Thanks for your clarification request. The lockdown started on 23rd March, but the Government
was actually advised to commence it on 9th March by professor Steven Riley of the Imperial
College in London. He added that mitigation – the strategy the government was following at the
time – would lead to 1.7 million deaths.
With this in mind please provide the assessments or projections seen by the department between
9th March and 13th March depicting the number of lives that could be saved by an immediate
lockdown as of that time.”
Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
I can confirm that the Department holds information relevant to your request.
However, as the information held by the Department is in the public domain we will, under Section
21 of the FOIA (information accessible to the applicant by other means), refer you to the published
Between 9th-13th March, the discussion of “lockdown” was in its very early stages and therefore
there are a limited number of papers that the Scientific Pandemic Influenza group on Modelling
(SPI-M-O) saw on this topic specifically. The two papers which were presented to SPI-M-O on the
topic of “lockdown” are already in the public domain. These were Paper 1, Annex A and Paper 2. Paper 1
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