By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 26, 2020: A U.S. Institute is forecasting nearly 10,000 people will die from COVID-19 in the Caribbean by October 1.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington made the prediction this week while noting that the new forecasts model deaths from the virus if countries impose social distancing mandates for six weeks.

The percentage of people wearing masks when leaving their home is also a key consideration. 

In contrast, IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray stated transmission might be reduced by as much as 50% in communities where individuals are wearing masks when leaving their homes, either voluntarily or by mandate.

The Dominican Republic, the epicenter of the virus in the region, is forecast by IHME to see 5,665 deaths even though the country has only seen 698 to date.

Haiti could see the second highest for the region at 1,377 deaths, even though it has 92 now.

Suriname is forecast to see the third highest number of deaths at 698 deaths even though it has 16 now.

A health worker checks the temperature of a man, as the first phase to ease the quarantine imposed to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus starts, in San Jose de las Lajas, Mayabeque province, Cuba on June 18, 2020. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

Here’s where the other countries will stack up according to the IHME:

Trinidad and Tobago: 440 deaths

Cuba: 306 deaths

Puerto Rico: 286 deaths

Jamaica: 68 deaths

Barbados: 46 deaths

Bahamas: 26 deaths

 Belize: 20 deaths

Guyana: 14 deaths

Antigua and Barbuda: 10 deaths

United States Virgin Islands: 7 deaths (range of 6 to 11).

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research organization at the University of Washington School of Medicine that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. 

The news comes as the Caribbean reported 853 new coronavirus cases in the Caribbean on June 25, 2020 among 8 countries. The highest number of new cases or 510  occurred in the Dominican Republic while French Guiana saw 206 new cases and Haiti, 105.

Suriname reported another 16 new cases while Jamaica reported 8; Guyana 6; Cuba 2 and the Turks and Caicos, 1.

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