The dreaded phase comes at a time when the United States is pouring masks and many businesses are returning to office.
BANGKOK, Thailand – The official global death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 6 million on Monday – the pandemic, now in its third year, is not over yet.
The landmark event, recorded by Johns Hopkins University, is the latest tragic reminder of the ruthless nature of the pandemic as people shed their masks, travel resumed and businesses reopened around the world.
The Far Pacific islands, which have been isolated for more than two years, are now battling the first epidemics and deaths caused by a highly contagious omicron variant.
Hong Kong, which has seen an increase in deaths, is testing three of its 7.5 million people this month, in keeping with mainland China’s “zero-COVID” strategy.
As death rates remain high in Poland, Hungary, Romania and other Eastern European countries, more than 1.5 million refugees have arrived in the region from war-torn Ukraine, a country with poor immunization coverage and high rates of infection and death.
Despite its wealth and availability of vaccines, the United States alone reports nearly 1 million deaths.
Tikki Pang, a professor of medicine at the National University of Singapore and co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Immunization Coalition, said the world’s death rate was still the highest among unvaccinated people.
“It’s an unvaccinated disease – look at what’s happening in Hong Kong right now, the health care system is upside down,” said Pang, a former director of research policy and cooperation with the World Health Organization. “The vast majority of deaths and serious incidents are in the unvaccinated, vulnerable population.”
It took seven months to mark the world’s first million deaths from the virus since the pandemic began in early 2020. Four months later, another million died, and since then, 1 million have died every three months, bringing the death toll to 5 million. end of October. Now it has reached 6 million – more than the total population of Berlin and Brussels, or the entire state of Maryland.
But despite the enormity of the figure, there is no doubt that the world recently celebrated its 6 millionth death. In many parts of the world, poor records and testing have led to lower coronavirus deaths, in addition to extreme deaths, rather than actual COVID-19 infections, such as people who die from pandemic-related but preventable causes but are unable to accept them. hospitals were overcrowded.
Eduard Mathieu, head of data in the portal Data in Our World, said that when the extreme death rates of countries were studied, the number of deaths due to the pandemic was about four times higher.
An analysis of extreme deaths by a group at The Economist estimates that the number of COVID-19 deaths is between 14.1 million and 23.8 million.
“Confirmed deaths are part of the actual number of deaths from COVID, mainly due to limited trials and difficulties in determining the cause of death,” Mathieu told the Associated Press. “In some, mostly rich countries, the fraction is high and the official figures can be considered quite accurate, but in others it is underestimated.”
The United States has the highest official death toll in the world, but it has been declining over the past month.
Lonnie Bailey lost his 17-year-old nephew, Carlos Nunez Jr., who signed a contract with COVID-19 last April – the same month he opened the Kentucky age group to vaccinations. A Louisville resident said the family was still suffering, including Carlos’s younger brother, who had to be hospitalized and still had symptoms. It was difficult for them to witness the aggressive reopening of the country.
“It is difficult for us to lose our carelessness; It will take us some time to adapt, ”said Bailey.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said this week that there have been more than 445 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world, and that new infections have been declining weekly in all regions except the Western Pacific, which includes China, Japan and South Korea. .
Although the overall numbers of the first epidemics in the Pacific Islands are small compared to large countries, they are significant among small populations and pose a threat to the fragile health systems.
“Given what we know about COVID, it could hit them at least for next year or more,” said Katie Greenwood, head of the Red Cross Pacific delegation.
Tonga said the virus first spread after it entered international aid ships on Jan. 15 after a giant volcano erupted and then a tsunami. There are now several hundred cases, but – 66% of the population is fully vaccinated – so far people have reported mostly mild symptoms and no deaths.
The Solomon Islands saw its first epidemic in January and now has thousands of incidents and more than 100 deaths. Greenwood said the capital’s hospital was evacuated and many died at home, with the actual death toll higher.
Only 12% of the Solomon Islands have been fully vaccinated, although the epidemic has given a new impetus to the country’s vaccination campaign, and 29% now have at least one vaccine.
Global vaccine inequality persists in the world, with only 6.95% of people in low-income countries fully vaccinated, and more than 73% in high-income countries.
As a good sign, at the end of last month, Africa surpassed Europe in the number of daily doses, but only 12.5% of the population received two shots.
Although the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is difficult, it still requires more vaccinations. Some shipments are with little warning to the country’s health systems, while others are approaching their expiration date – forcing them to destroy doses.
Eastern Europe, in particular, has suffered greatly from the omicron variant, and Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has created a new risk as hundreds of thousands of people have fled to crowded places such as Poland on busy trains. Health workers there offer free vaccinations to all refugees, but do not test them on arrival or in quarantine.
“This is really tragic, because great stress has a very negative effect on natural immunity and increases the risk of infection,” said Anna Boron-Kaczmarska, a Polish infectious disease specialist. “They are experiencing very high stress, they are afraid for their lives, the lives of their children, their family members.”
Mexico reported 300,000 deaths, but with little testing, an analysis of government death certificates brings the real figure closer to 500,000. Still, the four-week decline in infection rates made healthcare workers optimistic.
In India, where the world is shocked by the outdoor images of cremated bodies when crematoriums are overcrowded, scars are diminishing as the number of new cases and deaths decreases.
More than 500,000 deaths have been reported in India, but experts believe the actual number is in the millions, primarily from the delta variant. Migrants from India’s vast hinterland are now returning to their metropolises in search of work, and the streets are congested. Shopping malls still have customers, albeit disguised, and schools and universities welcome students after a month-long break.
In the UK, infections declined after an omicron-driven increase in December, but remain high. Britain has now lifted all restrictions, including mask mandates and the requirement to isolate all positive test takers at home.
With an estimated 250,000 deaths, the African continent is estimated to have a lower death toll, as well as a younger and less mobile population in general.
“Africa is a big question mark for me because it’s relatively safe from the worst so far, but it could be just an hour-long bomb,” Pang said, noting the low vaccination rates.
Thoko Dube, a resident of Soweto in South Africa, said he received the news of the deaths of two family members on the same day in January 2021 – a month before the country received its first vaccinations.
It was difficult, but “the family can handle it,” he said. “We accepted it because it happened in other families as well.”
AP journalists Jill Lawless in London, Aniruddha Ghosal in New Delhi, Cara Anna in Nairobi, Mogomotsi Magome in Johannesburg, Monica Scislowska in Warsaw, Fabiola Sanchez in Mexico City and Heather Hollingsworth Mission in Kansas contributed to this story.
The number of deaths from COVID in the world has exceeded 6 million
Source link The number of deaths from COVID in the world has exceeded 6 million