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Influential COVID-19 model projects nearly 300,000 deaths in U.S. by Dec. 1

(Xinhua)    10:22, August 08, 2020

The chart publicized on Aug. 6, 2020 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington shows that there will be 295,011 COVID-19 deaths in the United States by Dec. 1, 2020, based on current projection scenario. (Xinhua)

A key COVID-19 model has updated its projection that nearly 300,000 Americans may die from coronavirus by Dec. 1.

The forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said on Thursday there will be 295,011 COVID-19 deaths by Dec. 1, based on current projection scenario.

"However, starting today, if 95 percent of the people in the U.S. were to wear masks when leaving their homes, that total number would decrease to 228,271 deaths, a drop of 49 percent. And more than 66,000 lives would be saved," said the IHME.

In early May, the IHME forecast the United States would have 134,000 COVID-19 deaths by early August. As of Aug. 7, the country has 160,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States hit over 4,918,000 and fatalities surpassed 160,700 as of Friday afternoon, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Experts warned that the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and asymptomatic transmissions.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said the United States is in a "new phase" in its fight against the pandemic. "We are seeing today is different from March and April," she said.

In an interview with Xinhua, Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Iowa, said the deadly virus is more widespread than when it first took hold in the country earlier this year.

"Mitigation measures need to be related to the extent of infection and rapidity of spread," he noted.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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