As the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread worldwide the death toll due to the virus can triple by Christmas and might reach 2.8 million by the start of 2021, as per a leading independent health research institute.

The model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington's School of Medicine played a significant role in influencing the coronavirus task force in the US earlier in the year. The prediction now claims that around 1.9 million more people might lose their lives by the end of the year.

Death Toll in US, India, Brazil Expected to be Worst

Wuhan Coronavirus
Twitter / Ed Leon Klinger

The death toll in the US, India, and Brazil are expected to be the worst. "These first-ever worldwide projections by country offer a daunting forecast as well as a roadmap towards relief from Covid-19 that government leaders, as well as individuals, can follow," IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said. "We are facing the prospect of a deadly December, especially in Europe, central Asia, and the United States. But the science is clear and the evidence irrefutable: mask-wearing, social-distancing, and limits to social gatherings are vital to help prevent transmission of the virus."

The scientists modeled all three types of scenarios based on mask usage and the continuation of the existing measures. A best-case scenario has two million deaths assuming that mask usage and social distancing are almost properly maintained worldwide. But on the other hand, the worst-case scenario can cause around four million deaths whereas the most likely scenario can result in almost 2.8 million deaths. Dr. Murray stated that the economic downturns has lead to an excess amount of COVID-19 fatigue among the global leaders, but also mentioned that there was still time to decrease the spread of the disease.

"This first global forecast represents an opportunity to underscore the problem with herd immunity, which, essentially, ignores science and ethics, and allows millions of avoidable deaths," he stated. The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times with over 26.6 million people getting infected. An effective vaccine to tackle the outbreak is expected by the first quarter of 2021.