Around 286 people could die in Puerto Rico from the new coronavirus (Covid-19) until October 1, according to new projections from the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Assessment (IHME).  The projected figure represents an increase of 135 deaths compared to the data recorded by the Department of Health (DS) until yesterday, when 151 people had died on the Island from Covid-19. Two new probable deaths corresponding to two men were added yesterday: one 74 years old from the Bayamón region and the other 90 years old from the Caguas region.
Last March, when the impact of the coronavirus began to be projected in In the region, other studies pointed to thousands of deaths, before drastic measures were taken to combat it.
According to the most recent data from the DS, the total number of probable deaths to date is 94 and the confirmed deaths remain at 57, due to what the total of deaths is of 151. However, the projection of the IHME is that the number would increase to 286 by October 1st, while a conservative estimate would place the figure at 185 possible deaths and in the worst case would reach the 605.
The IHME warns that, in case of relaxing the sanitary restrictions, the panorama could be worse, when the range of the greater number of accumulated deaths rises to 618. On the other hand, if the mandatory use of masks continues -in at least 95% of the population- and measures of social distancing, then the projection of deaths is reduced from 286 to 259.
According to the analysis of the IHME, when an increase in deaths is projected It is from July 1st to October 1st. Between the period of August to October it is projected that daily deaths could increase from one to four.
The doctor in Public Health, José Antonio Torres, specified to EL VOCER Or that “in terms Logical it is reasonable because if today there are 151 deaths, because by October it may be around that (286). ”
To flatten this curve and prevent this projection from being fulfilled, Torres stressed that it is necessary that More tests are done to detect Covid-19. As of June 12, the DS Bio Portal had 235,341 tests registered, of which 114,723 were molecular and 120,618 were serological.
“The problem with this is that we are counting few cases because there are few tests. That is why in all the states of the United States where the flag has been raised, what they have focused on is doing serological or molecular tests to the whole world. So, if you don't do tests, you have no way of counting because what you are going to have are suspicions, especially now that the tests to be covered by the medical plans have to be with a medical order, for example, the molecular ones, "Torres added. .
He asserted that, in practical terms, with the outbreaks that are taking place in the United States, the strategy should be "to massify the tests as originally intended to be done in a place where people and everyone can get tested " "At some point if the people who are in Orlando, in Kissimmee, who are already raising their flag, get scared and start traveling backwards with family members here, there is no doubt that there are going to be many more cases", Torres added.
Precisely, the municipalities are attentive to imported cases of coronavirus after several outbreaks were reported in the past weeks. At the moment, the confirmed cases in Puerto Rico are around 1,579 due to molecular tests and 5,298 probable cases of people who have tested positive for serological tests, for a total of 6,877. Of these cases, only 85 are hospitalized and only four are connected to a ventilator.
Hospital censuses are increasing
Precisely, the president of the College of Surgeons of Puerto Rico, Víctor Ramos, said that the Hospital censuses have increased, but among patients not infected with Covid-19.
“The Covid-19 patient census has remained completely stable. The reality is that the projection was 6,000 deaths and has not occurred. So there will always be projections, but the important thing is that people follow the instructions, because if it is analyzed, businesses and people are implementing the measures. The outbreaks are being seen in places where the same family cares, because they have been family outbreaks, associated outbreaks of travelers in families, in private activities, "added this newspaper.
Until yesterday afternoon, Johns University Hopkins reported 9,494,571 cases and 484,155 deaths worldwide. While in the United States there were 2,398,491 infected and 122,238 deaths. The IHME estimates that there will be 179,106 deaths as of October 1 in the United States, and 438,698 in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Experts worldwide have indicated that Covid-19 is on the way to becoming one of the main causes of death worldwide. Precisely, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned that the coronavirus pandemic was entering a new and dangerous phase.
But the projection of the IHME is that deaths and infections worldwide will continue to increase. Brazil is projected to exceed 166,000 deaths and Mexico 88,000. Six other nations are forecast to exceed 10,000 deaths: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru. In contrast, 15 countries are expected to have fewer than 1,000 deaths, including Paraguay, Uruguay and Belize.
The director of the IHME, Christopher Murray, said that "several Latin American countries face explosive trajectories, while others contain the epidemic of effective way". "I have to emphasize the imperative of mitigation measures, such as the use of masks or mouth covers and the distancing, especially as South American nations face increasing infections due to the seasonality of Covid-19, which is an important contributing factor to the transmission of the virus. "
EL VOCERO requested a reaction from the DS, but at the time of writing, no response was obtained.