Global Covid toll tops 3m, Health News, ET HealthWorld

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The global death toll from Covid-19 topped a staggering 3 million people on Saturday amid repeated setbacks in the worldwide vaccine campaign and a deepening crisis in places such as Brazil, India and France.

The number of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the population of Kiev, Ukraine; Caracas, Venezuela; or metropolitan Lisbon, Portugal. It is bigger than Chicago (2.7 million) and equivalent to Philadelphia and Dallas combined. And the true number is believed to be significantly higher because of possible government concealment and the many cases overlooked in the early stages of the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.

Worldwide, deaths are on the rise again, running at around 12,000 per day on average, and new cases are climbing too, eclipsing 700,000 a day. Deaths in Brazil are running at about 3,000 per day due to a local contagious variant, accounting for one-quarter of the lives lost worldwide in recent weeks. In Europe, countries are feeling the brunt of a more contagious variant that first ravaged Britain and has pushed the continent’s Covid death toll beyond 1 million.

When the world back in January passed the bleak threshold of 2 million deaths, immunisation drives had just started in Europe and the US. Today, they are underway in over 190 countries, though progress in bringing the virus under control varies widely. While the campaigns in the US and Britain have hit their stride and people and businesses there are beginning to contemplate life after the pandemic, other places, mostly poorer countries, are lagging behind in putting shots in arms and have imposed new lockdowns and other restrictions as virus cases soar. Globally, about 87% of the 700 million doses dispensed have been given out in rich countries. While 1 in 4 people in wealthy nations have got a vaccine, in poor countries the figure is 1 in more than 500. AP





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