New York, Oct 13 : Deaths due to the novel coronavirus in the US is expected to reach almost 400,000 by February 1, 2021, according to a new forecast.
The new forecast released on Monday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, revealed that peak daily deaths in the country in January 2021 will be over 2,200, and the total would reach 394,693 by February 1, reports Xinhua news agency.
If mandates ease, the death toll would increase to over 502,000 by February 1.
If masks are universally adopted, which would mean about 95 per cent of people consistently wearing them, the IHME predicts about 315,800 deaths.
Expanding mask use to the level seen in Singapore can decrease cumulative deaths, saving 79,000 lives between now and that date, said the IHME.
The IHME model also projected that some 113,199 additional hospital beds will be required by February 1 to take deal with the heavy inflow of infected patients.
The US has witnessed a recent resurgence in the number of daily Covid-19 cases, with around 40,000 new cases per day since mid-September.
Several states in the Midwest have begun the fall and winter surge, according to the IHME.
Daily deaths are over 4 per million in North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida.
"The fall/winter surge timing in each state will depend on actions by individuals and the speed of reaction to the surge by different governors or other local government officials," said the IHME in a report.
"What unites the US right now is that 43 states are in uncontrolled spread (30) or trending poorly (13).
The six states with highest new cases/capita are also reporting increasing deaths," tweeted Eric Topol, a professor of Molecular Medicine at the Scripps Research.
The Dakotas at 650 cases per million are the highest in the world right now, according to Topol.
IHME also projects about 2.5 million overall global deaths by February 1, but that number drops to 1.7 million if there is 95 per cent of mask use.
As of Tuesday, the US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 7,803,884 and 214,063, respectively.