politics

Global Covid-19 death toll tops five million

Global Covid-19 death toll tops five million

The reported global Covid-19 death toll surpassed five million Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has the highest number of total confirmed deaths from Covid-19, with nearly 746,000 recorded since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins. Brazil, India and Mexico have the next highest reported death tolls. Data collected by Johns Hopkins reflect official counts from nations around the world. Patchy recording of Covid-19 cases and deaths means the true toll is likely substantially higher, disease experts say. More people died from Covid-19 in the first 5½ months of 2021 than in all of 2020, according to official counts. Weekly reported global deaths from Covid-19 peaked in January, according to Johns Hopkins data, when in one week more than 100,000 people died. Nations around the world are currently averaging nearly 51,000 confirmed deaths a week, the data shows. Covid-19 vaccines have reduced the number of deaths and serious illnesses. Nearly seven billion doses of vaccine have been administered globally. However, many poorer countries have scant access to Covid-19 shots, leaving their populations at greater risk of dying from the disease. Some variants of the novel coronavirus have also posed challenges in the battle against Covid-19. The highly transmissible Delta variant led to a fresh wave of infections around the world and added significantly to the global death toll. In the U.S., Delta’s spread led to increased rates of hospitalizations and deaths in parts of the country, particularly in regions where vaccination rates were lower. The U.S. in late September was recording a seven-day average of 2,000 daily deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. At the height of the winter surge, the country peaked at an average of 3,400 reported Covid-19 daily deaths in mid-January, data show. Now, the Delta wave is past its peak, with new cases, hospitalizations and deaths declining in most states. The U.S. reported a seven-day average of 1,332 new Covid-19 deaths on Sunday, Johns Hopkins data shows. But the approaching holidays and winter months will test whether the U.S. can sustain that momentum, public-health officials and epidemiologists say, as Covid-19 case numbers remain close to levels recorded this time last year. On Sunday, the country recorded an average of 72,412 confirmed cases, down from more than 109,000 on Oct. 1, according to Johns Hopkins data. A new, incremental uptake in vaccinations has helped drive the decline, as has growing immunity in the population and the return of some Covid-19 protocols in parts of the country. Nearly 58% of Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. could further bolster its defenses as younger children begin to get vaccinated in the weeks ahead. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE vaccine for some 28 million children ages 5 through 11. Shots could be available to children this coming week after a review by the CDC. Getting shots to eligible adults who haven’t been vaccinated is still a challenge, however, and some health authorities are concerned the Delta wave’s rapid retreat has eliminated some of the urgency that was spurring people to roll up their sleeves. Download.

politics 2021-11-02 Livemint