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USVI: No. 1 In Homicides In The Caribbean; Soon To Be No. 1 In The World In COVID-19 Deaths: ANALYSIS

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The news that the territory suffered a 19th confirmed death from COVID-19 should have been significant.

The Virgin Islands Department of Health said Thursday night that an 82-year-old man on St. Thomas was the 19th person to die of the coronavirus disease in the territory.

But that news was eclipsed by a projection by the University of Washington School of Medicine, released one week ago, stating that the U.S. Virgin Islands will become the place with the highest per capita death rate from COVID-19 by January 1, 2021.

In its epidemiological model, the territory would be number one in the world in the coronavirus death rate in its “most-likely scenario” (349.8) and its “best case scenario (343.9).”

In its “worst-case scenario” the U.S. Virgin Islands would be No. 3 in the world: the Netherlands would have 549.8 deaths per 100,000 people, Spain would be next with 393.1 deaths per 100,000 people and the USVI would be third with 364.7 deaths per 100,000 people by January 1, 2021.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said that 750,000 lives could be saved worldwide if countries could persuade their citizens to wear a mask and social distance right now.

“These first-ever worldwide projections by country offer a daunting forecast as well as a roadmap toward relief from COVID-19 that government leaders as well as individuals can follow,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. “We are facing the prospect of a deadly December, especially in Europe, Central Asia, and the United States. But the science is clear and the evidence irrefutable: mask-wearing, social distancing, and limits to social gatherings are vital to helping prevent transmission of the virus.”

Murray added that “the references to 750,000 lives saved and 30,000 daily deaths in December represent the differences between the ‘best case’ and ‘most likely’ scenarios” worldwide.

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