SEATTLE - In its first forecasts for COVID-19 deaths outside North America and Europe, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is projecting nearly 90,000 deaths in Brazil through early August, as well as more than 5,000 deaths each in Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.
In addition, Egypt's death toll may exceed 2,000 and the Philippines' may exceed 1,500. The new projections also include updated forecasts for European nations, as well as 147,000 projected US deaths, an increase of 10,000 since the previous forecast on May 10.
"IHME's new forecasts for a growing number of countries around the world demonstrate the wide range of responses policymakers and health officials have had to the pandemic," said IHME director Dr Christopher Murray. "We aim to inform their decisions on how best to manage and mobilize for COVID-19."
IHME's current forecasting lasts through August 4 and, as Murray noted, the Institute's projections will change as new data are acquired and analyzed. Fluctuations are to be expected.
In the US, several states' projections increased since IHME's previous forecast on May 10. Those include New York (increase of 2,448), North Carolina (increase of 3,222), Massachusetts (increase of 2,084), Pennsylvania (increase of 1,677) and Maryland (increase of 1,192).
Reasons for the some of the increases, Murray said, include increased mobility and the easing of distancing policies.
Other key findings from today's update include:
- Brazil: 88,305 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 30,302 to 193,786
- Mexico: 6,859 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 3,578 to 16,795
- Ecuador: 5,215 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 4,844 to 6,052
- Peru: 6,428 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 2,731 to 21,724
- Egypt: 2,047 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 805 to 6,059
- Philippines: 1,735 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 1,094 to 3,972
- South Korea: 346 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 262 to 755
- Sweden: 5,760 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 4,426 to 9,089
- Israel: 272 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 266 to 279
- UK: 43,479 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 40,110 to 50,128
- US: 147,040 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 113,182 to 226,971
Today's findings follow requests from several nations' health leaders for estimates of deaths and other COVID-19-related concerns, such as hospital resources needed to help address the pandemic.
"The IHME team has worked closely with our collaborator network, now totaling more than 5,000 people in over 150 countries," Dr Murray said. "Many of those in the network have been essential in identifying data sources and helping verify these new forecasts."
Starting today, the Institute's forecasts for all countries and regions included are based on a new hybrid model. The model IHME released on March 26 to estimate hospital resource demand is now combined with a disease transmission model.
The new model captures the impact of changes in social distancing mandates, changes in mobility, and the impact of testing and contact tracing. It enables predicting a resurgence if and when more social distancing mandates are relaxed.
"The hybrid model allows us to better track changes to social distancing mandates and other drivers such as testing, contact tracing, and temperature," Dr Murray said.
"As with all our forecasts, these will be routinely updated and new data added as it is available. As social distancing mandates are lifted, we will be better able to understand whether behaviors, such as mask-wearing, can counteract increased mobility and keep cases down to prevent a prolonged pandemic."
The new death projections are available at https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections.
IHME thanked the Microsoft AI for Health program for supporting our hosting of COVID-19 data visualizations in the Azure cloud.
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.