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Magnify’s pandemic doc finds second wind


A 2018 BBC4 documentary about planning for global pandemics has been picked up by a host of pubcasters around the world amid the coronavirus crisis.

Contagion was originally produced by UK factual indie Rare TV for BBC4, which re-aired it in February as the coronavirus – confirmed as a pandemic by the WHO yesterday – started to spread around the world.

Following that retransmission, TV4 in Sweden, NRK in Norway, RSI in Switzerland, TRT in Turkey, PTS in Taiwan and RTHK in Hong Kong have all picked the doc up from distributor Magnify Media.

In Contagion, Dr Hannah Fry launches a nationwide mathematical-modelling experiment to help predict and plan for the impact of a pandemic.

Central to Dr Fry’s mission is the BBC Pandemic app, downloaded by several thousand citizens, which is designed to predict how quickly an infection disease would spread across the country, potential fatalities and what could be done to prepare for it.

Emergency physician Dr Javid Abdelmoneim explains why viruses are still such a danger to society a century after Spanish flu killed some 100 million people worldwide.

Andrea Jackson, CEO of Magnify Media, said: “This is not only an intelligent and informative documentary, but it’s also a timely one in the light of the misinformation and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.

“Contagion is a sensitively made programme that explains how pandemics evolve and move around communities, based on reliable modelling techniques and technology.”

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