PUBLISHED: 11:31, Sat, Mar 14, 2020 | UPDATED: 11:32, Sat, Mar 14, 2020
The coronavirus epidemic has sparked fear across the UK as many have called on the Government to "lockdown" the country in a similar fashion to Italy. While speaking to Channel 4 News, John Edmunds, professor of epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, insisted the UK should not yet declare a state of emergency. Professor Edmunds argued the coronavirus issue could last most of 2020 and because of this, the Government should not ask too much of the public too soon.
He added the UK could see "radical" changes to society soon and it was important to "bring people with us."
The Channel 4 host Matt Frei asked: "Should we be declaring a state of national emergency here, something as dramatic as that?"
Mr Edmunds replied: "For what gain? What would we get from that?
"We would just get people up into a panic and stuff, we need people to come with us step by step.
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Coronavirus warning -‘Epidemic to last most of 2020’ as RADICAL changes for UK ahead (Image: Getty )
The Channel 4 host asked whether the UK Government should declare a state of emergency. (Image: Channel 4)
"This epidemic is not going to be over in a week or a month.
"This epidemic is going to last for most of this year.
"If we are going to ask people to change their behaviour quite radically, it is going to be very difficult for them to do.
"It is going to have major social and economic impacts on them and we are going to have to limit the amount that we