Covid-19 claims two million deaths and continues to rage

The pandemic is claiming a life every eight seconds

Reuters & RNZ Wellington, January 17, 2021

Medical staff treat a patient at a Covid-19 ICU in Texas. (GETTY Images via AFP)

The worldwide coronavirus death toll has surpassed two million, according to a Reuters tally, as nations around the world are trying to procure multiple vaccines and detect new Covid-19 variants.

Accelerating fatalities

It took nine months for the world to record the first one million deaths from the Novel Coronavirus but only three months to go from one million to two million deaths, illustrating an accelerating rate of fatalities.

So far in 2021, deaths have averaged more than 11,900 per day or one life lost every eight seconds, according to a Reuters tally.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video statement that the world has reached a heart-wrenching milestone.

“Behind this staggering number are names and faces: the smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” he said, calling for more global coordination and funding for the vaccination effort.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (Photo for AFP by Cristina Quicler)

Forecast remains high

By April 1, 2021, the global death toll could approach 2.9 million, according to a forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Given how fast the virus is spreading due to more infectious variants, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned the worst could be ahead.

“We are going into a second year of this. It could even be tougher given the transmission dynamics and some of the issues that we are seeing,” Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies official, said during an event on Wednesday.

World’s Covid Toppers

The United States has the highest total number of deaths at more than 386,000 and accounts for one in every four deaths reported worldwide each day.

The next worst-affected countries are Brazil, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Combined, the five countries contribute to almost 50% of all Covid-19 deaths in the world but represent only 27% of the global population.

A worker in Turin, in Italy, prepares a coffin for burial (AFP File Photo)

Europe, the worst-affected region in the world, has reported over 615,000 deaths so far and accounts for nearly 31% of all Covid-related deaths globally.

In India, which recently surpassed 151,000 deaths, vaccinations are set to begin this weekend in an effort that authorities hope will see 300 million high-risk people inoculated over the next six to eight months.

The above Report by Reuters, has been published under a Special Agreement with www.rnz.co.nz

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