The evolution of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, its high reproductive number and the associated clinical needs, is overwhelming national health systems. We propose a method for predicting the number of deaths, and which will enable the health authorities of the countries involved to plan the resources needed to face the pandemic as many days in advance as possible. We employ OLS to perform the econometric estimation, and through RMSE, MSE, MAPE, and SMAPE forecast performance measures we select the best lagged predictor of both dependent variables. Our objective is rather to estimate a leading indicator of clinical needs. Having a forecast model available several days in advance can enable governments to more effectively face the gap between needs and resources triggered by the outbreak and thus reduce the deaths caused by COVID-19.