US may witness deadliest day on April 15 with over 2,271 coronavirus deaths, predict scientists

The estimate is from modeling studies conducted by the University of Washington School of Medicine. According to the analysis, by April 15, the new coronavirus might kill at least 29,000 Americans in total


                            US may witness deadliest day on April 15 with over 2,271 coronavirus deaths, predict scientists
(Getty Images)

America might witness the deadliest day in two weeks.  On April 15, 2020. scientists predict over 2,271 people might succumb to COVID-19.

The estimate is from modeling studies conducted by the University of Washington School of Medicine.  According to the analysis, by April 15, the new coronavirus might kill at least 29,000 Americans in total.

If the analysis holds, the new coronavirus could kill more than 82,000 Americans by August 4, 2020. "Deaths from COVID-19 are estimated to drop below 10 deaths per day between May 31 and June 6," the analysis read.

To make these predictions, scientists assumed that Americans are practicing social distancing, meaning they are avoiding mass gathering and are staying at home as much as possible.

But if people go astray, the pandemic could be more disastrous. "The trajectory of the pandemic will change – and dramatically for the worse – if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions. We encourage everyone to adhere to those precautions to help save lives," Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington's School of Medicine, said in a statement.

Currently, COVID-19 has infected over 164,274 people and killed 3,040  people in the US. According to Dr Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, as many as 200,000 Americans might die and millions could be infected.

He, however, warned that because modeling studies could be inaccurate, people should take this with a pinch of salt.

Medical workers pump oxygen for a COVID-19 patient at a hospital in Wuhan (Chinatopix via AP)

Can hospitals cope with the surge?

"In addition to a large number of deaths from COVID-19, the epidemic in the US will place a load well beyond the current capacity of hospitals to manage, especially for ICU care," Dr Murray wrote in his analysis. 

And it paints a very dire picture: hospitals may not have enough resources to manage the influx of infected patients. It predicts that 41 states will need to increase their ICU beds.

By April 15, hospitals will need  224,321 beds but they will fall short of 61,509 beds, says the analysis. As for ICU beds, hospitals are expected to fall short of 15,103 beds. 

And many people are expected to rely on ventilators to support breathing. The analysis found that the country might need to use 26,753 ventilators to address the surge in demand.

Taking these predictions into account, the Trump administration extended its social distancing guidelines to April 30. "The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end," the Trump said at a White House news conference. 

How are states faring on social distancing?

Some states have taken social distancing more seriously than others. According to the social distancing scorecard put together by the mobility data company Unacast, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Nevada, Massachusetts, and New Jersey top the list.  States such as Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Arakhans and Wyoming are trailing.  

According to the social distancing scorecard put together by the mobility data company Unacast, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Nevada, Massachusetts and New Jersey top the list (Unacast)

To arrive at the estimate, the company used location data on mobile devices to compare people's travel data before and after the US began recording coronavirus cases. The company has recorded a drop in travel distances across the country.

This drop can be attributed to people switching to home offices, avoiding non-essential trips to entertainment places or spare-time facilities, Unacast CEO Thomas Walle wrote in a blog post

But the data should be taken with a grain of salt. "Travel distance is one aspect, but of course people can travel far without meeting a soul or travel 50 feet and end up in a crowd — so we know that the real world picture can be quite complex," Waller noted. 

The company will continue to update the scorecard. "As we better understand our data and how it describes the new world under COVID-19, we will continuously update our social distancing score as well as develop other datasets that can be used in the fight against COVID-19," he wrote.

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.