The Institute of Metrology and Health Assessment, based at the University of Washington in Seattle, now predicts 37,494 deaths in the UK as of August 4, although it said the figure could be between 26,000. and 62,500.
Despite the lower figure, he still predicts that the UK will have the highest number of deaths in Europe.
Daily peak deaths, which the institute says should still be around April 17, are expected to be 1,674, or in the range of 650 to 4,000.
IHME is the primary collector and analyst of global disease data around the world. He says he now recognizes that his prediction of 66,000 deaths last week has alarmed. Models are only as good as the data embedded in them. After including more recent figures, as the institute said, the situation has changed.
“The IHME expects in the future that the model will have more data, the range of possible forecasts is likely to narrow,” said a spokesperson.
The figure of 66,000 has been disputed by scientists whose government relies on modeling the likely shape of the epidemic in the UK. Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London said last week when the prediction was released that the IHME figures were twice as high as they should have been.
In a note on its website, the IHME explained how it got to the previous high numbers. “Our first release of forecasts from the EEA countries included daily deaths reported up to April 5. For the United Kingdom, daily data on deaths in the week leading up to April 5 have shown net cumulative daily deaths which are constantly increasing, “he said.
“Since our last publication, we have been able to include an additional four days of reported daily deaths for the UK (April 6, 7, 8, 9).” A slower rate of increase in deaths, which will be due to physical distancing, and better data on what has happened in other parts of the world where epidemics have peaked, ” has resulted in significantly lower average projections for the UK, ”it said.
He also received up-to-date information on bed capacity and intensive care capacity, he said, and downplayed his forecast of shortages.