According to the study, half a million COVID-19 deaths occur in the US by the end of February.

LONDON (Reuters) – More than a million people in the United States may die from COVID-19 by the end of February, but according to modeling studies, around 130,000 lives could be saved if everyone wears a mask. . on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective masks to enter a polling site at the Milwaukee Public Library, Washington Park location in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the first day of voting in the US, October 20, 2020. REUTERS / Bing Guan

Estimates made by researchers at the University of Washington Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation showed that some effective COVID-19 treatment options and no vaccines are available yet, facing the United States “with a sustained COVID through winter.” -19 is a public health challenge. “

Chris Murray, IHME director, said, “We are growing on a very large scale in the fall / winter”.

He said that the projections, as well as currently rising infection rates and deaths, showed that there is no basis to add “the idea that the epidemic is going away,” adding: “We do not believe this to be true.”

President Donald Trump said in the epidemic debate on Thursday: “It’s going away.”

Friday’s update was the first time IHME has estimated deaths before February. 1. Its current forecast on its website is 386,000 deaths on 1 February.

Trump’s coronovirus epidemic, which has killed more than 221,000 Americans so far, has become a top issue for him and for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the November 3 election. Polls showed that Americans rely on Biden more than Trump to deal with the crisis.

The IHME forecasts that large, populous states such as California, Texas, and Florida will face particularly high levels of illness, death, and demands on hospital resources.

“We expect there will be continued growth in various states and nationally and will continue to lead to higher levels of daily deaths in late December and in January,” Murray said.

The modeling study, which estimated various scenarios and their perceived impact on the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States, found that wearing universal masks could have a major impact on mortality, potentially killing 130,000 people. Can be saved.

Current mask use in the United States varies widely. While some states, such as New York, set strict rules for wearing masks, others have no requirement. The issue has become political, with some supporters taking their cues from Trump, who is often seen without a mask, and his utility being repeatedly questioned.

“Using the mask is an easy victory for the United States … and could save many lives,” Murray said.

He added that, as parts of Europe and some local US regions of high transmission are now doing, many US states will need to resume social remediation measures to prevent winter growth.

Reporting by Kate Kelland, additional reporting by Caroline Humer, editing by Steve Orlofsky and Cynthia Osterman


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