New IHME Projection Sees COVID-19 Deaths in Brazil at More than 125,000

Published May 25, 2020

Forecasts see increased deaths in Rio de Janeiro; drop in São Paulo

Projections for total of 19 states 


SEATTLE (May 25) – New forecasts from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington find COVID-19 deaths exceeding 125,000 through early August and continuing to increase after that.

The analysis now includes forecasts for 19 of Brazil’s 26 states that have greater than 50 deaths, including Rio de Janeiro, where expected deaths rose by more than 4,600 to 25,755, from IHME’s May 12 forecast of 21,073.

“Brazil must follow the lead of Wuhan, China, as well as Italy, Spain, and New York by enforcing mandates and measures to gain control of a fast-moving epidemic and reduce transmission of the coronavirus,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. “Until then, IHME is forecasting the death toll in Brazil will continue to climb, there will be a shortage of critical hospital resources, and the peak of deaths may not occur until mid-July,” said Murray.  

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. Today’s announcement adds 11 states to the Institute’s previous analysis of eight states.

Additional states will be added to upcoming forecasts. Fluctuations are to be expected.

The Institute’s analysis concludes there will be 125,833 deaths by August 4, with a possible range as low as 68,311 and as high as 221,078. By state, the findings are:

  • São Paulo: 32,043 deaths, a drop from 36,811, as projected on May 12
  • Rio de Janeiro: 25,755 deaths, an increase from 21,073, as projected on May 12
  • Pernambuco: 13,946 deaths, an increase from 9,401, as projected on May 12
  • Ceará: 15,154 deaths, an increase from 8,679, as projected on May 12
  • Maranhão: 3,625 deaths, a drop from 4,613, as projected on May 12
  • Bahia: 5,848 deaths, an increase from 2,443, as projected on May 12
  • Amazonas: 3,194 deaths, a drop from 5,039, as projected on May 12
  • Paraná: 626 deaths, an increase from 245, as projected on May 12

New states added in today’s forecast are:

  • Pará: 13,524 deaths
  • Espirito Santo: 2,853 deaths
  • Minas Gerais: 2,371 deaths
  • Alagoas: 1,788 deaths
  • Rio Grande do Sul: 1,165 deaths
  • Paraíba: 1,142 deaths
  • Goiás: 893 deaths
  • Amapá: 529 deaths
  • Rio Grande do Norte: 492 deaths
  • Santa Catarina: 464 deaths
  • Acre: 422 deaths

Murray noted that IHME’s forecasting model captures the effects 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.

“Our model is the basis for the sobering estimate of deaths in Brazil and other nations,” Murray said. “The model allows for regular updating as new data are released on cases, hospitalizations, deaths, testing, and mobility. We are seeking to inform decisions about mandating and later easing social distancing policies to minimize the risk of infections. As with all our forecasts, these will be routinely updated and new data added as available.”  

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.