More than 80,000 people in the U.S. could die from coronavirus, say researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.
And the researchers found COVID-19 could overwhelm hospital capacity as soon as early April – even if social distancing measures are followed.
The latest coronavirus data from local, national and international levels was analyzed by researchers, who studied the lag between the first fatal case and public interventions.
AFP reported the researchers also studied states’ intensive care unit bed and ventilator capacity. They found that demand for both would far exceed capacity for COVID-19 patients as early as the second week in April.
The study estimated that about 81,000 people in the U.S. will die from the virus in the coming four months. AFP noted that estimates ranged between 38,000 and more than 160,000.
“Our estimated trajectory of COVID-19 deaths assumes continued and uninterrupted vigilance by the general public, hospital workers, and government agencies,” said Christopher Murray, IHME director.
“The trajectory of the pandemic will change — and dramatically for the worse — if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions.”
The United States has surpassed 1,000 deaths from the global coronavirus pandemic, becoming the sixth country to do so, according to Johns Hopkins University.
It has been feared the World Health Organization (WHO) might ultimately declare the U.S. the epicenter for the pandemic in the coming weeks, but death counts in Italy and Spain are still the most devastating.
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