Thursday, November 26, 2020

SEATTLE, June 24, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is forecasting nearly 388,300 people will die from COVID-19 in Latin American and Caribbean nations by October 1.  Brazil is expected to exceed 166,000 deaths and Mexico 88,000. Six other nations are each predicted to exceed 10,000: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru. In contrast, 15 nations, including Paraguay, Uruguay, and Belize are each expected to have fewer than 1,000 deaths.

"Several Latin American countries are facing explosive trajectories, while others are containing infections effectively," said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. "I cannot overemphasize the imperative of mitigation measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing, especially since South American nations are facing increasing infections due to seasonality of COVID-19, an important factor contributing to the transmission of the virus."

IHME's new forecasts model deaths from the virus if countries impose social distancing mandates for six weeks at the point when deaths reach 8 per million people, comparing that to a scenario if no action is taken. The percentage of people wearing masks when leaving their home is also a key consideration.

"These factors are vital in our projections and highlight how many lives can be saved," Murray said. 

He noted that the number of deaths is certain to continue to rise in nations where mandates on mask wearing and social distancing are relaxed. In contrast, 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 forecasts by nation: 

Southern, Tropical, and Andean Latin America

  • Argentina: 24,721 deaths (range of 9,386 to 61,163)
  • Chile: 25,344 deaths (range of 18,094 to 34,509)
  • Uruguay: 340 deaths (range of 52 to 2,075)
  • Bolivia: 7,334 deaths (range of 3,564 to 13,645)
  • Ecuador: 20,260 deaths (range of 16,069 to 27,103)
  • Peru: 36,210 deaths (range of 28,145 to 48,617)
  • Brazil: 166,362 deaths (range of 135,538 to 208,079)
  • Paraguay: 271 deaths (range of 27 to 1,952)

Central America and Mexico

  • Colombia: 35,314 deaths (range of 14,640 to 81,942)
  • Costa Rica: 39 deaths (range of 17 to 120)
  • El Salvador: 4,357 deaths (range of 668 to 15,546)
  • Guatemala: 10,090 deaths (range of 3,874 to 22,071)
  • Honduras: 4,958 deaths (range of 881 to 14,207)
  • Mexico: 88,160 deaths (range of 67,967 to 120,023)
  • Nicaragua: 280 deaths (range of 72 to 2,276)
  • Panama: 2,802 deaths (range of 1,315 to 5,895)
  • Venezuela: 2,893 deaths (range of 84 to 29,295)

The Caribbean

  • Antigua and Barbuda: 10 deaths (range of 2 to 74)
  • Bahamas: 26 deaths (range of 10 to 121)
  • Barbados: 46 deaths (range of 8 to 282)
  • Belize: 20 deaths (range of 3 to 143)
  • Cuba: 306 deaths (range of 180 to 663)
  • Dominican Republic: 5,665 deaths (range of 1,731 to 15,650)
  • Guyana: 14 deaths (range of 12 to 24)
  • Haiti: 1,377 deaths (range of 202 to 5,919)
  • Jamaica: 68 deaths (range of 17 to 364)
  • Suriname: 698 deaths (range of 28 to 2,541)
  • Trinidad and Tobago: 440 deaths (range of 13 to 6,868)
  • Puerto Rico: 286 deaths (range of 185 to 605)
  • United States Virgin Islands: 7 deaths (range of 6 to 11)

The new death projections and other information, such as hospital resources usage, are available at https://covid19.healthdata.org.

PARIS (AP) — A Congolese activist was fined 2,000 euros ($2,320) on Wednesday for trying to take a 19th-century African funeral pole from a Paris museum in a protest against colonial-era injustice that he streamed online. A Paris court convicted Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and two other activists of attempted theft, but the sentence stopped far short of what they potentially faced for their actions at the Quai Branly Museum: 10 years in prison and 150,000 euros in fines. Activists and defense lawyers viewed the case as a trial about how former empires should atone for past crimes. Diyabanza’s museum action took place in June, amid global protests against racial injustice and colonial-era wrongs unleashed by George Floyd’s death in the U.S. Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

LONDON (AP) — Herbert Kretzmer, the journalist and lyricist best known for his English-language adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, has died. He was 95. His family confirmed Wednesday that Kretzmer died after a long illness with Parkinson’s disease at the London home he shared with his second wife, Sybil Sever. Tributes poured in from giants of the London stage, including theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh, singer Elaine Paige and lyricist Tim Rice. Les Miserables producer Mackintosh said Kretzmer was instrumental in bringing Victor Hugo’s classic tale of defiance and redemption in early 19th century France to the stage in English in October 1985, five years after it had opened in Paris.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stevie Wonder released two new songs Tuesday reflecting the current times that he hopes inspires change. The piano-playing icon dropped the tracks “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate,” which he also announced would be released through his new label So What the Fuss Music, distributed through Universal Music Group’s Republic Records (Wonder was signed to Motown Records for the majority of his career).

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Conchata Ferrell, who became known for her role as Berta the housekeeper on TV’s “Two and a Half Men” after a long career as a character actor on stage and in movies, including “Mystic Pizza” and ”Network,” has died. She was 77. Ferrell died Monday at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles following cardiac arrest, according to publicist Cynthia Snyder. Ferrell soldiered through more than a decade on “Two and a Half Men,” playing opposite Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer until Sheen was fired from the sitcom for erratic behavior that included publicly insulting producer Chuck Lorre.