Scientists have developed a new mathematical model that they say can accurately estimate the death toll linked to the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, and around the world.
The model, published in the journal Mathematics, predicted that the death toll as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in the US would eventually reach about 68,120.
That is based on data available on April 28, and there was high confidence (99 per cent) the expected death toll would be between 66,055 and 70,304, the researchers said.
"Based on data available on April 28, the model showed that the COVID-19 pandemic might be over in the US, meaning no more American deaths, by around late June 2020," said Hoang Pham, a professor at Rutgers University in the US.
"But if testing and contact tracing strategies, social-distancing policies, reopening of community strategies or stay-at-home policies change significantly in the coming days and weeks, the predicted death toll will also change," Pham said.
The researchers noted that the model's estimates and predictions closely match reported death totals.
They next plan to apply the model to global COVID-19 death data as well as to other countries such as Italy and Spain, both of which have experienced thousands of deaths due to COVID-19.
The model could also be used to evaluate population mortality and the spread of other diseases, according to the researchers.