Neil Ferguson, the British government advisor for Corona Virus Control, resigned from his position after admitting a “mistake in assessing things” after he ignored the rules of social estrangement.
Ferguson, who advised Prime Minister Boris Johnson to implement the closure in the country, expressed his remorse for “undermining” the messages of social estrangement.
And the British Telegraph newspaper published a report that indicated that a “married woman” Ferguson was alleged to have had a relationship with, visited him at his home amid the closure procedures applied in the country.
Matt Hancock, the British health minister, said that what happened was “extraordinary”, stressing that Ferguson “made the right decision when he announced his resignation.”
“He (Ferguson) cannot continue to provide advice to the government,” he added, in comments he made to Sky News.
He continued: “The rules of social separation are imposed on everyone and in all seriousness.”
London’s Metropolitan Police said Ferguson’s behavior was “clearly disappointing,” but the police “do not intend to take further action.”
A transmission model prepared by the resigning British government adviser suggested that about 250,000 people could die if strict measures were not taken to combat the spread of the virus.
These estimates prompted Boris Johnson to impose severe restrictions on daily activities in Britain on March 23, aiming to limit the spread of the Corona virus.
Under these measures, the government issued recommendations to citizens to leave their homes as minimal as possible, in addition to instructions issued after that indicating that those who have emotional relationships and live and do not live together, should stay in their homes.
“I confess that I misjudged the situation and taken the wrong course of events,” Ferguson said in a statement issued after his resignation.
He added, “Therefore, it withdrew from the ‘Sage’ group (an emergency scientific advisory group).”
He continued, “My behavior came based on the belief that I was immune, as the Corona virus test showed that I am infected, and I isolated myself for about two weeks after the symptoms appeared.”
Ferguson expressed “deep regret at the prejudice to clear messages that underscore the continuing need for social separation.”
He also described the government’s recommendations on social estrangement as “non-negotiable and aiming to protect all of us.”
The Telegraph newspaper said Antonia States visited Ferguson at his home at least twice during the closure.
“There is a group of experts who will continue to support the ministers after Ferguson’s resignation,” British Security Secretary James Brockenshire told BBC News.
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Despite the statements made by the resigning adviser to the British government, it has not been confirmed yet whether those recovering from the Coronavirus have an immunity to the epidemic that protects them from recurring infection.
“Neil Ferguson knows that science is advancing very rapidly at the level of immunity, nor have recommendations been made for people to continue their lives normally if they contracted this disease earlier,” said BBC Health Affairs correspondent, Virgis Walsh.
He added that Ferguson’s resignation “is a big problem”, describing the government’s resigned adviser as “the most influential scientist” in dealing with the spread of the virus after Chris Witte, the chief government health adviser, and Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser.
Nevertheless, the head of the British Academy of Medical Sciences Robert Lichler stressed that Ferguson’s resignation would not have a “major impact” on the work of the Sage Group, which provides specialist advice to the government in reducing the spread of the Corona virus.
He told the BBC: “Ferguson had a big role,” but assured that the group would continue to make a “valuable contribution”.
The resignation of one of Britain’s top advisers to the government in the face of the Corona virus crisis came after the number of epidemic deaths in Britain reached 29,427, the largest number ever in Europe.
When asked, in the context of an interrogation in the British House of Commons, about the reasons that led to this sharp increase in the number of deaths of Coronavirus, Boris Johnson said: “Every death is a tragedy in itself.”
However, he suggested that complete data are still not available to reach a final result at the global comparison level.
Johnson said: “It will definitely come a time when decisions can be taken and whether different decisions can be made, but what the people want from us now is to reduce the spread of the disease and start helping our economy get back on its feet.”
Ferguson’s resignation comes a month after the chief Scottish health affairs adviser, Catherine Coldwood, resigned after discovering that she had broken the closure rules by traveling to her second home twice.
Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health minister from the Labor Party, said he would not comment on anyone’s private life, but he told the BBC Breakfast program: “It is clear that we all have to follow the rules of social separation because it is very important that we do everything we can to curb the virus.” .
John Redwood, a Conservative House member of the House of Commons, suggested that the circumstances of Ferguson’s resignation were not important to the public.
He added: “What is important for the nation is to obtain good guidance and how to get out of this horrific crisis.”
Ferguson was head of the Corona Virus Anti-virus team at Royal College London. He also had previous efforts in combating viruses, including implementing computational models to provide information on the spread of epidemics, including the outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001, the spread of bird flu in 2006, and models for the spread of swine flu in 2009.
A university statement said Ferguson “continues to focus on his important research.”