Modelling suggests Ireland may have already hit its peak for Covid-19 deaths 1 month ago

Modelling suggests Ireland may have already hit its peak for Covid-19 deaths

The modelling suggests yesterday may have been Ireland's peak.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a research centre founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has forecast that Ireland's coronavirus death toll peaked on Monday (6 April).

In addition to that projection, the forecast also says resource use in Irish hospitals may have peaked on Saturday, 4 April. 'Peak resource use' refers to when the estimates predict the greatest need for hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators, and other related hospital resources.

On Monday, 16 more people died from Covid-19 in Ireland and the death toll currently stands 174. As of Monday evening, there had been 5,364 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.

The model predicts that deaths from Covid-19 will begin to stall at the start of May, and that the death toll will range between 329 and 510 by the beginning of August 2020. The same model predicts that the United Kingdom will endure over 66,000 deaths in the same timeframe.

The projection does not necessarily align with the view of the Department of Health. Yesterday, Dr. Colm Henry the Chief Clinical Officer at the HSE noted: "Our Healthcare system has been preparing for a surge in Covid-19 cases."

The centre, which operates as part of the University of Washington School of Medicine, has said that: "Our model is designed to be a planning tool, and is informed by the shape that other Covid-19 outbreaks are taking, in terms of deaths, around the world.

"Other models may use other approaches, such as assuming a population where everyone was equally likely to interact with everyone else, and model different scenarios such as the absence of, or different levels of, social distancing."

It is important to note that the IHME model for Ireland assumes full social distancing from now until the end of May 2020. The current set of restrictions are officially in place until Easter Sunday (12 April), but are expected to be extended further.