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COVID death toll exceeds 5 million worldwide

MONDAY, 1 Nov. 2021 (HealthDay News) – The global death toll from COVID-19 on Monday exceeded 5 million, and the more than 740,000 lives lost in the United States are the most of any nation, Johns Hopkins University data shows.

“This is a defining moment in our lives,” said Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist at the Yale School of Public Health, at the Associated Press. “What should we do to protect ourselves so that we do not reach another 5 million?”

Being a rich country offered little protection: the United States, Britain, Brazil, and the European Union accounted for one-eighth of the world’s population, but nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic started 22 months ago, the AP reported.

“What is unique about this pandemic is that it has hit the high-resource countries the hardest,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP, a global health center at Columbia University in New York, said. AP. “This is the irony of COVID-19.”

Richer nations tend to have larger numbers of older people, Cancer survivors and residents of nursing homes, all of whom are vulnerable to COVID-19, El-Sadr noted, while poorer countries typically have larger shares of children, teens and young adults, who are less likely to become seriously ill from the coronavirus.

For example, despite a terrifying Delta boom that peaked in early May, India now has a much lower daily mortality rate than Russia, the United States or Britain, although there is uncertainty about its figures, the AP said.

But within countries, poverty still played a role: in the United States, COVID-19 took a greater toll on Black and Hispanic people, who were more likely than white people to live in poverty and had less access to health care.

“When we get our microscopes out, we see that within countries, the most vulnerable have suffered the most,” Ko told the AP.

According to the Oslo Peace Research Institute, the death toll is equal to the number of deaths caused by fighting among nations since 1950.

COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death worldwide, only behind heart disease and stroke. The staggering statistics are almost certainly an understatement due to limited testing and people dying at home without medical attention, especially in poor parts of the world, the AP said.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information COVID-19.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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