New IHME COVID-19 Forecasts UK Facing Nearly 50,000 Deaths by October 1

New IHME COVID-19 Forecasts UK Facing Nearly 50,000 Deaths by October 1

PR Newswire

SEATTLE, June 25, 2020

Italy and France also likely to have high death tolls; Turkey forecast to see a resurgence

SEATTLE, June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In its first projections comparing different actions to control COVID-19 transmission, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is forecasting 47,924 people (range of 46,131 to 50,319) in the UK will die by October 1.

Italy is predicted to see 41,756 deaths (range of 39,437 to 45,773) by that date, and France 30,391 (range of 30,175 to 30,705). Turkey is forecast to have a total of 29,895 deaths (range of 9,868 to 117,022), with a resurgence of the virus in mid-August. The country saw a peak in the epidemic in April, when daily deaths reached 127, but is projected to see deaths beginning to rise in the next several weeks. Data on mobility show a substantial increase since late May. 

"A resurgence in some European nations is all but certain," said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. "Wearing masks has been shown to reduce the transmission of the virus by as much as one-third. Mask wearing and practicing social distancing are essential control measures as nations continue to reopen. This is all about saving lives while protecting the economy."

The forecasts model deaths from the virus if countries continue to ease social distancing mandates but reinstitute those mandates for six weeks at the point when deaths reach 8 per million people. The Northern Hemisphere is likely facing a second wave of the virus in the fall.

"So far, coronavirus transmission correlates strongly with pneumonia seasonality," Murray said. "This means countries cannot let down their guard heading into the fall and winter, or they risk rising infections."

Forecasts by country are:

IHME also modeled deaths that would occur if 95% of the population wears masks in public. Nations with high mask use already, such as Italy, do not see a substantial drop in deaths under this scenario. However, a higher proportion of mask use in Turkey could reduce deaths by 14,627.

"Nations are attempting the difficult balancing act of preserving health and enabling economic recovery," Murray said. "Going forward, IHME will continue to forecast for different scenarios including planned intermittent mandates in the fall when deaths per day may reach higher levels, recognizing that solutions are not uniform across communities." 

The forecast is based on IHME's latest model and includes health system data, such as hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and ventilator needs, as well as infections, deaths, and antibody prevalence. Other factors include forecasts of testing per capita, mobility per capita, social distancing mandates, mask use, social contact rates, and seasonality.

The new death projections and other information are available at https://covid19.healthdata.org.

We wish to warmly acknowledge the support of these and others who have made our COVID-19 estimation efforts possible: ACAPS; American Hospital Association; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Boston Children's/Health Map; California Health Care Foundation; Carnegie Mellon University; Christopher Adolph and colleagues at the Department of Political Science, University of Washington; Descartes Labs; Facebook Data for Good; Google Labs; John Stanton & Theresa Gillespie; Julie & Erik Nordstrom; Kaiser Family Foundation; Medtronic Foundation; Microsoft AI for Health; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); National Science Foundation; Our World in Data; Premise; Qumulo; Real Time Medical Systems; Redapt; SafeGraph; The COVID Tracking Project; The Johns Hopkins University; The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS); The New York Times; UNESCO; University of Maryland; University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas (Felicia Knaul and Michael Touchton); Wellcome Trust; World Health Organization; and finally, the many Ministries of Health and Public Health Departments across the world, collaborators and partners for their tireless data collection efforts. Thank you.

About the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation 

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research organization at the University of Washington School of Medicine that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world's most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME is committed to transparency and makes this information widely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions on allocating resources to improve population health.

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