The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is forecasting nearly 388,300 people will die from COVID-19 in Latin American and Caribbean nations by October 1.
Brazil is expected to exceed 166,000 deaths and Mexico 88,000. Six other nations are each predicted to exceed 10,000: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru. In contrast, 15 nations, including Paraguay, Uruguay, and Belize are each expected to have fewer than 1,000 deaths.
Colombia mortality projection: 35,314 deaths (range of 14,640 to 81,942)
“Several Latin American countries are facing explosive trajectories, while others are containing infections effectively,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. “I cannot overemphasize the imperative of mitigation measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing, especially since South American nations are facing increasing infections due to seasonality of COVID-19, an important factor contributing to the transmission of the virus.”
IHME’s new forecasts model deaths from the virus if countries impose social distancing mandates for six weeks at the point when deaths reach 8 per million people, comparing that to a scenario if no action is taken. The percentage of people wearing masks when leaving their home is also a key consideration.
“These factors are vital in our projections and highlight how many lives can be saved,” Murray said.
He noted that the number of deaths is certain to continue to rise in nations where mandates on mask wearing and social distancing are relaxed. In contrast, Murray stated transmission might be reduced by as much as 50% in communities where individuals are wearing masks when leaving their homes, either voluntarily or by mandate.
The forecasts by nation:
Southern, Tropical, and Andean Latin America
- Colombia: 35,314 deaths (range of 14,640 to 81,942)
- Argentina: 24,721 deaths (range of 9,386 to 61,163)
- Chile: 25,344 deaths (range of 18,094 to 34,509)
- Uruguay: 340 deaths (range of 52 to 2,075)
- Bolivia: 7,334 deaths (range of 3,564 to 13,645)
- Guyana: 14 deaths (range of 12 to 24)
- Suriname: 698 deaths (range of 28 to 2,541)
- Ecuador: 20,260 deaths (range of 16,069 to 27,103)
- Peru: 36,210 deaths (range of 28,145 to 48,617)
- Brazil: 166,362 deaths (range of 135,538 to 208,079)
- Paraguay: 271 deaths (range of 27 to 1,952)
- Venezuela: 2,893 deaths (range of 84 to 29,295)
Central America and Mexico
- Costa Rica: 39 deaths (range of 17 to 120)
- Belize: 20 deaths (range of 3 to 143)
- El Salvador: 4,357 deaths (range of 668 to 15,546)
- Guatemala: 10,090 deaths (range of 3,874 to 22,071)
- Honduras: 4,958 deaths (range of 881 to 14,207)
- Mexico: 88,160 deaths (range of 67,967 to 120,023)
- Nicaragua: 280 deaths (range of 72 to 2,276)
- Panama: 2,802 deaths (range of 1,315 to 5,895)
- Antigua and Barbuda: 10 deaths (range of 2 to 74)
- Bahamas: 26 deaths (range of 10 to 121)
- Barbados: 46 deaths (range of 8 to 282)
- Cuba: 306 deaths (range of 180 to 663)
- Dominican Republic: 5,665 deaths (range of 1,731 to 15,650)
- Haiti: 1,377 deaths (range of 202 to 5,919)
- Jamaica: 68 deaths (range of 17 to 364)
- Trinidad and Tobago: 440 deaths (range of 13 to 6,868)
- Puerto Rico: 286 deaths (range of 185 to 605)
- United States Virgin Islands: 7 deaths (range of 6 to 11)
The new death projections and other information, such as hospital resources usage, are available at https://covid19.healthdata.org.
The above IHME map shows the mean value (across the 1,000 regressions that IHME runs in its SEIR model) of effective reproductive number, R, on June 9. Infections on June 9 roughly correspond to cases of COVID-19 on June 20 given the average duration of 11 days between infection and being reported as a case. Where this value is greater than 1, it means that every person infected with COVID-19 will produce more than one additional infected person. To successfully eliminate a disease from a population, R needs to be less than 1.
The map shows that on June 9 in many parts of the world, R was lower than 1, including many parts of North America, Europe, Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand. Locations that are showing effective R values greater than 1, which means that the number of cases of COVID-19 in the population is growing, include several states in India, the US, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Argentina, Chile, and Indonesia. Several countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as Turkey and Iran, also had R values greater than 1 as recently as two weeks ago.