Coronavirus: About 3.3 mln people could die by 2021 if restrictions ease, says study
The global coronavirus death toll could reach 3.3 million by January 2021 if governments ease restrictions on social distancing and gatherings, researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) have predicted.
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Using official data from countries around the world, the IHME were able to determine what the worldwide COVID-19 death toll would be, depending on how different scenarios play out.
If at least 95 percent of the world’s population starts wearing a mask from this week, the death toll could drop to 1.8 million, the researchers found.
However, if current trends continue – where some countries mandate face masks and other strict regulations, while dozens of others do not – then the total number of deaths could reach 2.5 million.
The coronavirus pandemic is also likely to cause deaths that will not be included in governments’ official tally, the researchers said.
They said that this will be the result of people around the world continuing to avoid going to clinics and hospitals and mortality rates from other diseases increasing as health care facilities struggle to keep up.
More than one million people around the world have died from to the novel coronavirus so far, a grim milestone that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres referred to as a “mind-numbing figure.”
According to an epidemiologist at the IHME, the number could have been reduced if COVID-19 countermeasures were followed.