More than 367,000 Americans have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) – the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease – since the beginning of the outbreak.
Based on new prediction models from the White House, experts say the peak of confirmed cases and mortality in the nation’s virus hotspots may be nearing.
The three hotspots identified in the United States are New York, Michigan and Louisiana, accounting for the most deaths. Their highest death tolls should be recorded this week.
As of April 7, Louisiana has had 512 deaths, Michigan: 727 and New York: 4,758. This comes just after US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned Americans to prepare for one of the “hardest and saddest weeks” in US history.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts that 81,766 people could die of COVID-19 in the US by early August, a lower number than an April prediction. The IHME website states that the US would hit the apex – projecting 3,130 COVID-19-related US deaths – by April 16.
Trend observed in Europe
According to a member of the US president’s coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, the decreasing number of new infections and deaths in Italy and Spain is giving Americans hope. “We’re hopeful over the next week that we’ll see a stabilization of cases in these metropolitan areas where the outbreak began several weeks ago,” Dr. Birx said.
Italy, the country with the most coronavirus deaths, reported 525 deaths on April 5, which was its lowest recorded number in over two weeks.
Home deaths understate official death toll
According to real-time statistics tracking website Worldometer, an estimated additional 180 to 195 deaths per day occurring at home in New York City are not being included in the official figures. This is reportedly due to the lack of testing capacity on respiratory-related deaths at home.
“Early on in this crisis we were able to swab people who died at home, and thus got a coronavirus reading. But those days are long gone. We simply don’t have the testing capacity for the large numbers dying at home. Now only those few who had a test confirmation *before* dying are marked as victims of coronavirus on their death certificate. This almost certainly means we are undercounting the total number of victims of this pandemic,” said Mark Levine, Chair of New York City Council Health Committee.