The number of people who have died from Covid-19 worldwide has exceeded 5 million, according to data held by the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The coronavirus, which first appeared in China in late 2019, continues to wreak havoc around the world. JHU’s worldwide death toll reached 5,000,425 on Monday.
In addition, 197,116 people have died from the coronavirus around the world in the past 28 days. The number of officially reported coronavirus cases worldwide stands at 246.7 million since it was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
Last Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that cases and deaths around the world were on the rise for the first time in two months. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this was due to continued increases in Europe.
“It’s another reminder that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over”Tedros said Thursday, noting that increases in Europe outweigh declines elsewhere.
“The pandemic persists largely because inequitable access to tools persists”, he said, adding that 80 times more tests and 30 times more vaccines were given in high-income countries than in low-income countries.
It comes as many countries lift pandemic restrictions and end lockdowns that have been imposed, to varying degrees, throughout 2020 in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
The rapid development of Covid vaccines, which are clinically proven to dramatically reduce serious infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus, has helped drastically reduce the number of people who have died from Covid, particularly in Western countries where HIV programs vaccination are at an advanced stage.
Nevertheless, concerns have increased in recent months about an increase in infections, hospitalizations and deaths as winter approaches not only among the unvaccinated, who are much more at risk of serious complications from Covid, but also in older people (who were among those to be vaccinated) as immunity to the vaccine wanes over time.
The total number of Covid cases and deaths is increasing globally, albeit at a slower rate than in previous periods of the pandemic. During the week of October 18-24, the World Health Organization said the number of weekly Covid cases and deaths increased slightly from the previous week, with more than 2.9 million new cases and over 49,000 new deaths, or 4% and 5%. increase, respectively.