Washington (dpa) - By December, according to a widely recognized model in the United States, a total of almost 300,000 people could die from an infection with the corona virus. That would be around 140,000 more deaths than currently.

If 95 percent of people always wear masks in public, the number of victims could be significantly lower at around 228,000 by December 1, the researchers at the IHME Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle said on Thursday.

The institute's model now fears 295,000 deaths by December 1. Before the recent sharp increase in new infections in the United States, the model had still expected around 230,000 deaths until November 1.

"We're experiencing a roller coaster ride in the United States," said director Christopher Murray. As soon as infections in an area increase dramatically, people wear masks and take the necessary precautions as soon as the situation relaxes, but the caution also evaporates, Murray criticized. «This naturally leads to more infections. And the possibly deadly cycle starts all over again, »he said.

To date, nearly 160,000 people have died in the United States from infection with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen, data from Johns Hopkins University show. There are now almost five million confirmed corona infections nationwide. The number of new infections in the United States has increased significantly since mid-June. On average, the authorities recently reported around 60,000 new infections a day - especially in the states in the south and west of the country. The pathogen Sars-CoV-2 can trigger the lung disease Covid-19.

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