The global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 5 million in less than 2 years

The global death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 5 million on Monday, less than two years after a crisis that has not only devastated poor countries, but also humiliated the rich with world-class healthcare systems. .

Together, the United States, the European Union, Britain and Brazil, all high- or upper-middle-income countries, account for an eighth of the world’s population, but almost half of all reported deaths. The United States alone has recorded more than 740,000 lives lost, more than any other nation.

6 View gallery

Florida Department of Corona

Doctors treat intubated patients in a Florida hospital coronavirus ward last month

(Photo: Reuters)

“This is a watershed moment in our life,” said Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist at the Yale School of Public Health. “What do we have to do to protect ourselves and not reach another 5 million?”

The death toll, counted by Johns Hopkins University, is roughly equal to the populations of Los Angeles and San Francisco combined. It competes with the number of people killed in battles between nations since 1950, according to estimates by the Oslo Peace Research Institute. Globally, COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and stroke.

The staggering figure is almost certainly an undercount due to limited testing and people dying at home without medical care, especially in poor parts of the world like India.

6 View gallery

Photo of Pulitzer Prize-winning Danish photographer Sidiki killed in Afghanistan here Indian Crown cremated in 2021Photo of Pulitzer Prize-winning Danish photographer Sidiki killed in Afghanistan here Indian Crown cremated in 2021

Burned bodies of coronavirus victims in India in July

(Photo: Reuters)

The hot spots have changed over the 22 months since the outbreak began, turning different places on the world map red. Now the virus is hitting Russia, Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe, especially where rumors, misinformation and mistrust in the government have hampered vaccination efforts. In Ukraine, only 17% of the adult population is fully vaccinated; in Armenia, only 7%.

“What’s uniquely different about this pandemic is that it hit high-resource countries the hardest,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP, a global health center at Columbia University. “That is the irony of COVID-19.”

Richer nations with longer life expectancies have a higher proportion of older people, cancer survivors and residents of nursing homes, all of whom are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, El-Sadr noted. The poorest countries tend to have a higher proportion of children, adolescents and young adults, who are less likely to become seriously ill from the coronavirus.

6 View gallery

Corona patients in Houston, Texas, USA"at the hospitalCorona patients in Houston, Texas, USA"at the hospital

An elderly woman suffering from COVID-19 was taken to a hospital in Texas last August

(Photo: Gettyimages)

India, despite its terrifying delta rise that peaked in early May, now has a much lower daily death rate than Russia, the United States or Britain, although there is uncertainty surrounding its numbers.

The apparent disconnect between wealth and health is a paradox disease experts will be pondering for years. But the pattern seen on a large scale, when nations are compared, is different when examined more closely. Within each rich country, when deaths and infections are mapped, the poorest neighborhoods are hit the hardest.

In the US, for example, COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on black and Hispanic people, who are more likely than white people to live in poverty and have less access to health care.

“When we take out our microscopes, we see that within countries, the most vulnerable are the ones that have suffered the most,” Ko said.

Wealth has also played a role in the global vaccination campaign, with rich countries accused of blocking supplies. The United States and other countries are already giving booster injections at a time when millions in Africa did not receive a single dose, although rich countries are also sending hundreds of millions of injections to the rest of the world.

6 View gallery

Corona France Vaccines VaccineCorona France Vaccines Vaccine

Coronavirus vaccine administered to a man in France in March

(Photo: AFP)

Africa remains the least vaccinated region in the world, with only 5% of the population of 1.3 billion people fully covered.

“This devastating milestone reminds us that we are failing much of the world,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a written statement. “This is a global shame.”

In Kampala, Uganda, Cissy Kagaba lost her 62-year-old mother on Christmas Day and her 76-year-old father days later.

“Christmas will never be the same for me again,” said Kagaba, an anti-corruption activist in the East African country who has gone through multiple lockdowns against the virus and where the curfew is in place.

The pandemic has united the world in pain and pushed the survivors to the limit.

“Who else is there now? The responsibility is mine. COVID has changed my life,” said Reena Kesarwani, 32, a mother of two, who was left in charge of managing her late husband’s modest hardware store in a village in India.

Her husband, Anand Babu Kesarwani, died at age 38 during the crushing rise of the coronavirus in India earlier this year. It overwhelmed one of the world’s most underfunded public health systems, killing tens of thousands of people when hospitals ran out of oxygen and drugs.

In Bergamo, Italy, once the site of the West’s first deadly wave, Fabrizio Fidanza, 51, was deprived of a final farewell as his 86-year-old father lay dying in hospital. He is still trying to come to terms with the loss over a year later.

“During the last month, I never saw him,” Fidanza said during a visit to her father’s grave. “It was the worst time. But coming here every week helps me.”

6 View gallery

Corona virus in Alessandria ItalyCorona virus in Alessandria Italy

Coffins with victims of the coronavirus in Italy during the first months of the pandemic

(Photo: Reuters)

Today, 92% of Bergamo’s eligible population has received at least one injection, the highest vaccination rate in Italy. The head of medicine at Hospital Papa Juan XXIII, Dr. Stefano Fagiuoli, said he believes that is a clear result of the collective trauma of the city, when the howl of ambulances was constant.

In Lake City, Florida, LaTasha Graham, 38, still receives mail almost daily for her 17-year-old daughter, who died of COVID-19 in August, days before starting her senior year of high school. The teenager, who was buried in her cap and gown, wanted to be a trauma surgeon.

“I know I would have made it. I know I would have been where I wanted to go,” her mother said.

In Rio de Janeiro, Erika Machado scanned the list of names engraved on a long, undulating sculpture of rusty steel found in the Penitencia Cemetery as a tribute to some of the victims of COVID-19 in Brazil. Then he found it: Wagner Machado, his father.

6 View gallery

        Mourners in a Brazilian cemetery at the graves of relatives who died of COVID-19         Mourners in a Brazilian cemetery at the graves of relatives who died of COVID-19

Mourners in a Brazilian cemetery at the graves of relatives who died of COVID-19

(Photo: EPA)

“My dad was the love of my life, my best friend,” said Machado, a 40-year-old saleswoman who traveled from Sao Paulo to see her father’s name. “He was everything to me.”

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *