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Worldwide Covid-19 death toll exceeds three million people

The count by Johns Hopkins University comes as cases are spiking in many countries.

A family attending a burial service in Brasilia, Brazil.
A family attending a burial service in Brasilia, Brazil.
Image: PA

THE GLOBAL DEATH toll from Covid-19 has topped three million people amid repeated setbacks in the worldwide vaccination campaign and a deepening crisis in places such as Brazil, India and France.

The number of deaths, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US, is about equal to the population of Kyiv, Venezuela, or Lisbon in Portugal.

The true number of deaths 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.

The threshold of two million deaths was reached in January. At this time, vaccinations had just started in Europe and the United States.

Today, they are under way in more than 190 countries, though progress in bringing the virus under control varies widely.

Worldwide, Covid-19 deaths are on the rise again, running at around 12,000 per day on average, and new cases are climbing too at around 700,000 a day.

“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic, where we have proven control measures,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, one of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) leaders on Covid-19.

In Brazil, where deaths are running at about 3,000 per day, accounting for one-quarter of the lives lost worldwide in recent weeks, the crisis has been likened to a “raging inferno” by one WHO official.

The WHO recently described the global vaccine supply situation as precarious.

Up to 60 countries might not receive any more doses until June, by one estimate.

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To date, Covax has delivered about 40 million doses to more than 100 countries, enough to cover barely 0.25% of the world’s population.

Globally, about 87% of the 700 million doses dispensed have been given out in rich countries.

While one in four people in wealthy nations have received a vaccine, in poor countries the figure is one in more than 500.

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Press Association

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