The world’s death toll exceeded 6 million in a pandemic in the third year

Bangkok-The official global death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 6 million on Monday-the pandemic is now in its third year, but emphasizes that it is not over yet.

Milestones recorded by Johns Hopkins University are the latest tragic memories that remind us of the relentless nature of the pandemic, despite people taking off their masks, resuming travel and resuming business around the world. am.

The remote islands of the Pacific Ocean, which have been isolated and protected for more than two years, are undertaking the first outbreak and death, supported by highly contagious variants of Omicron.

Hong Kong, with its surge in deaths, is sticking to mainland China’s “Zero Corona” strategy and is testing its entire population of 7.5 million three times this month.

Due to the high mortality rates in Poland, Hungary, Romania and other Eastern European countries, more than 1.5 million people from the war-torn Ukraine, a country with low vaccination rates and high cases and mortality rates in the region. Refugees have arrived.

And, despite its wealth and availability of vaccines, the United States is approaching the reported deaths of one million people on its own.

Ticki Pan, a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore School of Medicine and co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Immune Union, said the world’s mortality rate remains the highest among those who have not been vaccinated against the virus.

“This is an unvaccinated disease. Look at what’s happening in Hong Kong right now. The healthcare system is overwhelming,” said Pan, a former director of research policy and collaboration with the World Health Organization. I am. “The majority and severe cases of death are in the unvaccinated and vulnerable population.”

It took seven months to record the world’s first million viral deaths since the pandemic began in early 2020. Four months later, another one million died, and every three months thereafter, one million died, reaching 5 million deaths. The end of October. Currently, it has reached 6 million people. This is more than the combined population of Berlin and Brussels, or the entire state of Maryland.

But despite the sheer numbers, the world has undoubtedly died its sixth millionth death some time ago. Poor record management and testing in many parts of the world are pandemic-related but not due to actual COVID-19 infections, such as those who died of preventable causes but could not receive them. In addition to excessive deaths, it has led to an undercount of deaths from the coronavirus. Treated because the hospital was full.

Edouard Mathieu, data director for the Our World in Data portal, said a survey of mortality in the country suggests that nearly four times the reported deaths are likely to have died from a pandemic.

An analysis of excess deaths by a team of economists estimates that the number of deaths from COVID-19 is between 14.1 million and 23.8 million.

“The confirmed deaths represent only a small fraction of the actual number of deaths from COVID, mainly due to limited testing and challenges in the attribution of causes of death,” Matthew told The Associated Press. “In some, most of the rich countries, that percentage is high and the official tally can be considered fairly accurate, but in others it is very underestimated.”

The United States has the largest official death toll in the world, but that number has been declining since last month.

Ronnie Bailey lost her 17-year-old nephew Carlos Nunez Jr., who was infected with COVID-19 last April. That same month, Kentucky opened his age group to vaccination. Residents of Louisville said the family was still suffering, including Carlos’ younger brother. The brothers have to be hospitalized on their own and still have symptoms. The aggressive resumption of the country has made them uncomfortable to witness.

“It’s hard for us to relax our vigilance. It will take a while for us to adjust,” Bailey said.

With more than 445 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, new weekly cases have recently declined in all regions except the Western Pacific, including China, Japan and South Korea. , The World Health Organization reported this week.

The overall figures for the Pacific Islands that saw the first outbreak are small compared to larger countries, but they are important in their small population and can overwhelm the fragile health system.

“Given what we know about COVID, it’s likely to hit them at least next year or so,” said Katie Greenwood, head of the Red Cross Pacific delegation.

Tonga reported the first outbreak after the virus arrived with an international aid vessel, following a large volcanic eruption on January 15 and a subsequent tsunami. Currently, there are hundreds of cases, but 66% of the population is fully vaccinated and so far suffers from almost mild symptoms and is reported to have no deaths.

The first outbreak was seen in the Solomon Islands in January, with thousands of cases now occurring and more than 100 deaths. According to Greenwood, the actual death toll is likely to be much higher, as hospitals in the capital are overwhelmed and many have died at home.

Although only 12% of Solomon Islands inhabitants are fully vaccinated, this outbreak has provided new impetus for national vaccination campaigns, with 29% currently receiving at least one vaccination.

According to Our World in Data, global vaccine inequality continues, with only 6.95% fully vaccinated in low-income countries, but more than 73% in high-income countries.

As a good sign, at the end of last month Africa outperformed Europe in daily doses, but only about 12.5% ​​of the population received two injections.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has had challenges, but is still calling for additional vaccines. Some cargo arrives with few warnings to the national health system, while others are nearing expiration.

Eastern Europe has been particularly hit by variants of Omicron, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raises new risks of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to places like Poland on crowded trains. Health authorities there have provided free vaccinations to all refugees, but have not let them be tested on arrival or quarantine.

“This is really tragic, because great stress has a very negative effect on innate immunity and increases the risk of infection,” said Anna Boron-Kaczmarska, an infectious disease specialist in Poland. She said, “They are under very high stress and are afraid of their lives, their children’s lives and their families.”

Mexico reports 300,000 deaths, but with few tests, government analysis of death certificates shows that the actual number is approaching 500,000. Still, health officials were optimistic as the infection rate continued to decline for four weeks.

In India, where the world was shocked by images of the outdoor mountains of the crematorium overwhelmed and burned down, the scars are fading as new cases and deaths are declining.

India has recorded more than 500,000 deaths, but experts believe that its true casualties are primarily from the Delta type to the millions. Immigrants from India’s vast hinterland are now returning to the big city in search of work, and the streets are full of traffic. Shopping malls still have customers, although they are masked, but schools and colleges welcome students after a one-month gap.

In the UK, infectious diseases have decreased since the surge due to Omicron in December, but remain high. England has now lifted all restrictions, including the obligation to mask and the requirement that everyone who tests positive be quarantined at home.

Approximately 250,000 deaths have been reported, and the low death toll on the African continent is believed to be due to underreporting and a generally young, low-migration population.

“Africa is relatively free from the worst so far, so it’s a big question mark for me, but it could be just a time bomb,” Pan pointed out the low vaccination rate.

In South Africa, Soweto-based Thoko Dube said she received news that two families died on the same day in January 2021, a month before the country first vaccinated.

It was hard, but she said, “The family is dealing with it.” “We accepted it because it’s happening to other families.”


AP journalists Jill Laures (London), Aniruddha Gosal (New Delhi), Kara Anna (Nairobi), Mogomossi Magome (Johannesburg), Monica Sislowska (Warsaw), Fabiola Sanchez (Mexico City), Heather Ho Ringsworth (Kansas Mission) contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2022 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

The world’s death toll exceeded 6 million in a pandemic in the third year

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