New IHME COVID-19 Projections: Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador Facing Combined Deaths of Nearly 20,000

Published May 12, 2020

In contrast, Brazil may see almost 90,000 deaths

Institute’s first forecasts for select nations in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East


SEATTLE (May 12) – In its first forecasts for COVID-19 outside North America and Europe, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is preliminarily projecting nearly 20,000 deaths in Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador combined through early August.

“IHME’s new forecasts for Latin America and a growing number of countries around the world demonstrate the wide range of responses policymakers and health officials have had to the pandemic,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. “We aim to inform their decisions on how best to manage and mobilize for COVID-19.”

IHME’s current forecasting lasts through August 4 and, as Murray noted, the Institute’s projections will change as new data are acquired and analyzed. Fluctuations are to be expected.

Key findings for Latin American nations include:

  • Eight states of Brazil: 88,305 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 30,302 to 193,786
  • Seven states of Mexico: 6,859 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 3,578 to 16,795
  • Peru: 6,428 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 2,731 to 21,724
  • Ecuador: 5,215 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 4,844 to 6,052
  • Colombia: 2,157 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 793 to 5,890
  • Dominican Republic: 881 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 595 to 1,435
  • Chile: 687 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 421 to 1,417
  • Argentina: 680 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 414 to 1,420
  • Panama: 661 deaths projected through August 4, with a range of 362 to 1,345

In addition to death projections, IHME forecasts need for hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators for COVID-19 patients. At the national level, Peru may be experiencing some of the most acute shortages; it is predicted to exceed ICU bed capacity throughout May, June, and July. As of May 12, the estimates show a shortage of 944 ICU beds in Peru, with 1,032 needed and 88 available.

Moreover, many Mexican states may see hospital resource shortages, trends that are less striking at the national level. Based on the latest available data, Baja California and Quintana Roo could experience total hospital bed demand exceeding current capacities, while all states are either at capacity or experiencing shortages of ICU beds relative to need. As of May 12, Mexico City is expected to need 499 ICU beds and has 192 available, while Baja California has an expected need of 271 ICU beds with only 32 available. For details on individual states in Mexico, see IHME’s data visualization at

“It’s important for countries and regions to look closely at hospital capacity, resource needs, and the ongoing trajectory of coronavirus cases,” said Jarbas Barbosa, Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organization. “The epidemic in Latin America is coming later than in Europe. This is a time to be vigilant, watch the data, and implement the relevant public health measures.”

Today’s findings follow requests from several nations’ health leaders for estimates of deaths and other COVID-19-related concerns, such as hospital resources needed to help address the pandemic. 

“The IHME team has worked closely with our collaborator network, now totaling more than 5,000 people in over 150 countries,” Murray said. “Many of those in the network have been essential in identifying data sources and helping verify these new forecasts.”

Starting today, the Institute’s forecasts for all countries and regions included are based on a new hybrid model. The model IHME released on March 26 to estimate hospital resource demand is now combined with a disease transmission model.

The new model captures the impact of changes in social distancing mandates, changes in mobility, and testing and contact tracing. It enables predicting a resurgence if and when more social distancing mandates are relaxed.

“The hybrid model allows us to better track changes to social distancing mandates and other drivers such as testing, contact tracing, and temperature,” Murray said. “As with all our forecasts, these will be routinely updated and new data added as it is available. As social distancing mandates are lifted, we will be better able to understand whether behaviors, such as mask-wearing, can counteract increased mobility and keep cases down to prevent a prolonged pandemic.”  

The new death projections are available at    

Contact: [email protected]

IHME is grateful to the Microsoft AI for Health program for supporting our hosting of COVID-19 data visualizations in the Azure cloud. 


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.


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