At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Imperial’s COVID-19 response team rapidly analysed data and developed epidemiological models to help inform the global response to the virus. When SARS-CoV-2 first emerged, the team got to work estimating its severity and how it was spreading. This helped alert the world to the early threat posed by the new virus and informed the UK and other governments of the need to employ public health measures to suppress transmission to avoid healthcare systems becoming overwhelmed.

The team continued their work throughout the pandemic by providing estimates of the evolving epidemic across the globe, analysing the impact of social distancing interventions and studying new variants as they emerged. They worked closely with governments across the world and with global organisations including the World Health Organization to share their findings.

By the end of 2020, they had produced 42 open-access reports with summaries translated into 7 languages, developed open-access dashboards and modelling tools and undertaken >1000 media appearances across 49 countries.