One of the most influential global COVID-19 models got its death toll predictions for Malta quite wrong, overestimating the number of virus-related deaths on the island by more than half.
Back in April, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington predicted that Malta will register 19 COVID-19 related deaths by 4th August but later revised that number downwards to 13.
However, Malta hasn’t registered a COVID-19 related death since the end of May and indeed the IHME study has now been revised again to predict that the island’s COVID-19 death toll will remain at nine by December.
Their model is valid as of 3rd August, when the number of active COVID-19 cases in Malta had reached 199, slightly fewer than what they were last April when the study predicted 19 deaths.
Active cases have since surged to 415, with the latest 23 confirmed yesterday, but only a handful of these people are hospitalised and none are receiving intensive care.
While several predictions have been published since the outbreak of the pandemic, the IHME study has been far more influential than most and has been widely cited in the US press and even by the White House.