16:59 GMT08 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Novel coronavirus-related deaths will rise to nearly 180,000 by 1 October, and could be reduced by more than 33,000 during the same period if everyone wore facemasks, according to the latest modelling projection by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

    Data published by IHME on Wednesday shows a relatively constant increase in mortality with no spikes or dips between now and October.

    However, the graph shows a sharp divergence between a baseline forecast and an alternative scenario dubbed "Universal Masks". That projection shows a death toll of 179,106 on 1 October with people dying at a rate of 614 each day.

    By comparison, the universal mask scenario shows an overall death toll of 146,037, with 87 people dying each day.

    Models tend to have dubious reputations for accuracy. For example, in late March, IMHE projected 81,000 novel coronavirus-related deaths by the end of July, well short of the present toll of about 120,000.

    Some medical experts have pointed out that only N99 respirator masks (or above) can prevent contracting the novel coronavirus and the suggestions to wear other masks are done because of political considerations.

    health, projection, pandemic, US
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