According to a Reuters tally, Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide have passed a grim milestone of 4 million on June 17, 2021, as many countries struggle to procure enough COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate their populations.
While the number of fresh COVID-19 cases and deaths have decreased in the countries such as the United States and the UK, several nations still have been facing vaccine shortages as the delta variant continues to become the dominant strain around the world.
As per the Reuters analysis, it took over a year for the COVID-19 death toll to hit 2 million, while the next 2 million were recorded in just 166 days.
COVID-19 deaths globally:
The top five nations by the total number of deaths- Brazil, the United States, India, Mexico, and Russia- represent about 50% of all the deaths due to COVID-19 in the world. While, Hungary, Peru, the Czech Republic, Bosnia, and Gibraltar have the highest death rates when adjusted to population.
Soaring deaths have also been straining the operating capacity of crematoriums in the developing nations and the gravediggers in several countries are being forced to expand the cemeteries with row after row of new tombs.
Latin America faces worst hit
Countries in Latin America have been facing their worst outbreak since March. As per the Reuters analysis, 43 of every 100 infections in the world are being reported in the region.
The top 9 countries reporting the most deaths per capita over the last week were all in Latin America. Some of these countries are Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Bahrain, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay among others.
Hospitals in Chile, Bolivia, and Uruguay have been largely seeing COVID-19 patients between the ages of 25 and 40 as the trend of infection towards younger patients continues.
In Brazil’s Sau Paulo, 80 percent of the Intensive Care Units (ICU) occupants are COVID-19 patients.
India accounts for one in every three COVID-19 deaths reported worldwide:
India and Brazil have been reporting the most deaths each day on a seven-day average and are still troubled with cremation problems and lack of burial space. According to Reuters analysis, India accounts for one in every three COVID-19 deaths reported worldwide every day.
Are death tolls much higher than reported?
Many health experts also believe that the official death toll to be undercounted globally, with the World Health Organization estimating fatalities to be much higher than reported.
Last week, Bihar raised its COVID-19 death toll sharply higher after the discovery of thousands of unreported cases, leading way to the concerns that India’s overall death tally is significantly more than the official figure.
COVID-19 deaths in the US crosses the 6 lakh mark
On June 15, 2021, the deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States crossed the 6,00,000 mark while the overall COVID-19 case tally reached 33.4 million.
California, in the US, reported the highest number of deaths with 63,191 fatalities. It was then followed by New York which reported 53,558 COVID-19 deaths.
However, by organizing the successful vaccination drive, the US is right on the way to inoculate its entire population. US President Joe Biden has set 4th July 2021, as the target date to give at least one vaccine dose to 70% of adults.
COVID-19 vaccine: Key to fight the global pandemic
As the poorer nations around the world struggle to inoculate their populations because of the vaccine shortages, wealthier nations have been urged to donate more to control the pandemic.
According to the Director of the Pan American Health Organisation, Carissa Etienne, the primary issue in the Americas is vaccine access, not vaccine acceptance. She further urged the donor countries to send COVID-19 shots as soon as possible.
As part of the global efforts, the Group of Seven (G-7) rich economies, in their latest meet, have pledged to provide 1 billion COVID-19 vaccinations to help poorer nations around the world in vaccinating their populations.