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Global COVID Death Toll Reaches 2 Million

Mark Andrew

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  • The pandemic has claimed 2 million lives across the world.
  • A UN official called it a “heart-wrenching milestone.”
  • Vaccination programs have started rolling out in several countries.
  • Experts are fearing global herd immunity may still not be reached this year.

Since being detected in Wuhan, the coronavirus has already claimed more than 2 million lives now. This is according to the data released by Johns Hopkins University on Friday, January 15.

In a video message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the figure as a “heart-wrenching milestone,” pointing out that behind the numbers “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.”

2 million deaths and counting…

Guterres continued:

“Sadly, the deadly impact of the pandemic has been made worse by the absence of a global coordinated effort. In the memory of those two million souls, the world must act with far greater solidarity.”

Meanwhile, pandemic expert and Brown Universty School of Public Health dean Dr. Ashish Jha acknowledged the “terrible amount of death” while also taking time to appreciate the scientific community for the “extraordinary work” they’ve done amid the pandemic.

As of this writing, millions have already received at least the first dose of vaccine against the virus in wealthy countries such as the United States, France, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.

However, the unfortunate reality is that reaching global herd immunity this year remains a challenge, especially as poorer nations struggle to roll out their vaccination programs.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist for the World Health Prganization (WHO), said:

“Even as vaccines start protecting the most vulnerable, we’re not going to achieve any levels of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021. Even if it happens in a couple of pockets, in a few countries, it’s not going to protect people across the world.”

It took 8 months to reach 1 million deaths but fewer than 4 months to hit 2 million.

According to experts, the real figures may even be higher since inadequate testing and incomplete reporting continues to be a problem in some countries.

University of Exeter infectious diseases expert Dr. Bharat Pankhania likewise shared:

“What was never on the horizon is that so many of the deaths would be in the richest countries in the world. That the world’s richest countries would mismanage so badly is just shocking.”

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