Global Covid-19 deaths surpass five million – Community News
Covid-19

Global Covid-19 deaths surpass five million

JHU’s global death toll reached 5,000,425 at 4:50 a.m. ET on Monday. It reports that 197,116 people have died worldwide from Covid-19 in the past 28 days. The number of officially reported cases of coronavirus worldwide stands at 246.7 million since it was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Last Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that global cases and deaths are rising for the first time in two months. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this was caused by continued increases in Europe.

“It’s another reminder that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over,” Tedros said on Thursday, pointing out that the increases in Europe are greater than the decreases elsewhere.

“The pandemic is continuing largely because there is still unequal access to resources,” he said, adding that 80 times more tests and 30 times more vaccines have been administered in high-income countries than low-income countries.

From Wuhan to the World

It’s a grim milestone nearly two years after Chinese authorities reported the first coronavirus deaths on January 11, 2020. A 61-year-old man exposed to the virus at the fish market in Wuhan died two days earlier after suffering respiratory failure caused by severe pneumonia.

The first death outside of China was reported in the Philippines in early February 2020 – a 44-year-old Chinese man who had flown into the country from Wuhan.

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The epidemics of different countries have followed different trajectories. The United States has been hardest hit, with the highest number of cases and deaths. According to JHU, about 46 million cases have been reported in the country and more than 745,800 patients have died.

That surpasses the estimated death toll in the US from the 1918 flu pandemic, the deadliest pandemic of the 20th century.

Russia is going through the worst phase of the pandemic ever. Last week, it reported its highest number of daily cases and deaths since the start of the pandemic, with 40,096 cases and 1,159 deaths as of October 28.

The highly transmissible Delta variant also increased the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths worldwide as it became the dominant Covid strain, overwhelming many countries and places previously gripped by the pandemic.

Vaccine gap

Covid vaccines have saved many lives, but a large gap in vaccine access remains, especially for poorer countries. Of the 7 billion doses administered worldwide, only 3.6% have been in low-income countries.
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Tedros said that if vaccine doses so far delivered globally had been fairly distributed, “we would now have reached our 40% target in each country.”

“As it stands, health workers and vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries remain unprotected, oxygen is not getting to those who need it, and a lack of testing is leaving many countries blind to how the virus is circulating, and the world blind. for emerging variants,” he said at a press conference last week.

There is also considerable hesitation about vaccines in many countries, especially the US.

“It is the unvaccinated that are driving this current wave that is resulting in many hospitalizations, the need for intensive care units and the record number of deaths we are seeing,” Dr. Henry Bernstein, a former member of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, told CNN in September.

Reopening the world

Vaccines have allowed many countries to gradually open up, with most of the world now easing restrictions and opening borders to live with the virus.

Australia partially opened its international borders for the first time in 20 months on Monday. South Korea will also start living with the virus from Monday, despite thousands of new confirmed cases each week.
However, China, the country where Covid-19 was first discovered nearly two years ago, remains committed to a strict zero-Covid strategy, despite more than 75% of the population being fully vaccinated.

CNN’s Naomi Thomas reported.