New IHME COVID-19 Forecasts for Arab League Nations Find More than 50,000 Deaths in Egypt

Published June 24, 2020

New projections account for reducing deaths by protective measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing

‘This is all about saving lives and protecting the economy’

SEATTLE (June 24, 2020) – In its first projections for nations of the Arab League, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is forecasting 53,366 people (with a range of 23,158 to 113,903) in Egypt will die from COVID-19 through October 1.

That number is more than twice the projections of 21,722 deaths (range of 12,094 to 40,145) and 19,455 deaths (range of 7,558 to 45,381) in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, respectively.

“The situation in Egypt is grim,” said IHME’s Dr. Ali Mokdad, a senior faculty member and Chief Strategy Officer of the University’s Population Health Initiative. “Unless and until the nation can lower the rate of the virus’s transmission, deaths will continue on a trajectory far worse than any other country in the Arab League. All of us need to know that wearing masks can reduce transmission of the virus by at least one-third and that mask wearing and practicing social distancing are essential control measures as nations continue to reopen. This is all about saving lives and protecting the economy.”

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 also is a key consideration.

Dr. Mokdad noted that it is certain that the number of deaths will continue to rise in nations where mandates on mask wearing and social distancing are relaxed. In contrast, he stated that the risk of transmission may be reduced by as much as one-third communities where individuals are wearing masks when leaving their homes, either voluntarily or by mandate.

The forecasts by nation are: 

  • Afghanistan: 2,755 (range of 1,440 to 5,573)
  • Algeria: 6,027 (range of 2,324 to 17,297)
  • Bahrain: 761 (range of 227 to 1,906)
  • Egypt: 53,366 (range of 23,158 to 113,903)
  • Iran: 51,826 (range of 28,364 to 106,758)
  • Iraq: 21,722 (range of 12,094 to 40,145)
  • Jordan: 46 (range of 19 to 179)
  • Kuwait: 1,738 (range of 784 to 4,226)
  • Lebanon: 335 (range of 74 to 1,838)
  • Libya: 271 (range of 16 to 2,519)
  • Morocco: 660 (range of 418 to 1,379)
  • Oman: 1,438 (range of 455 to 3,431)
  • Palestine: 9 (range of 5 to 22)
  • Qatar: 596 (range of 287 to 1,268)
  • Saudi Arabia: 19,455 (range of 7,558 to 45,381)
  • Sudan: 5,157 (range of 1,441 to 16,587)
  • Syrian Arab Republic: 26 (range of 21 to 40)
  • Tunisia: 262 (range of 106 to 852)
  • United Arab Emirates: 629 (range of 473 to 962)
  • Yemen: 12,177 (range of 480 to 48,286)

The forecast is based on IHME’s latest and third-generation model and includes health system data, such as hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and ventilator needs, as well as infections, deaths, and antibody prevalence. Other factors include forecasts of testing per capita, mobility per capita, social distancing mandates, mask use, social contact rates, and seasonality.

Dr. Mokdad noted that the quality of data reporting systems in some nations falls below that of other countries. Thus, the range of death projections is greater than those of other IHME forecasts.

The new death projections and other information, such as the effects of mitigation measures, are available at

Contact: [email protected]

A note of thanks

We wish to warmly acknowledge the support of these and others who have made our COVID-19 estimation efforts possible: ACAPS; American Hospital Association; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Boston Children’s/Health Map; California Health Care Foundation; Carnegie Mellon University; Christopher Adolph and colleagues at the Department of Political Science, University of Washington; Descartes Labs; Facebook Data for Good; Google Labs; John Stanton & Theresa Gillespie; Julie & Erik Nordstrom; Kaiser Family Foundation; Medtronic Foundation; Microsoft AI for Health; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); National Science Foundation; Our World in Data; Premise; Qumulo; Real Time Medical Systems; Redapt; SafeGraph; The COVID Tracking Project; The Johns Hopkins University; The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS); The New York Times; UNESCO; University of Maryland; University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas (Felicia Knaul and Michael Touchton); Wellcome Trust; World Health Organization; and finally, the many Ministries of Health and Public Health Departments across the world, collaborators and partners for their tireless data collection efforts. Thank you.

About the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

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. IHME is committed to transparency and makes this information widely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions on allocating resources to improve population health.