World COVID-19 death toll surpasses 6m as pandemic enters third year
Global death toll from COVID-19 as the pandemic enters its third year, has surpassed 6 million, according to a report released by Johns Hopkins University.
In a report released on Monday, the Hopkins University research team said the latest figure is a “tragic reminder of the unrelenting nature of the pandemic even as people are shedding masks, travel is resuming and businesses are reopening around the globe.”
“Despite the enormity of the figure, the world undoubtedly hit its 6 millionth death some time ago. Poor record-keeping and testing in many parts of the world has led to an undercount in coronavirus deaths, in addition to excess deaths related to the pandemic but not from actual COVID-19 infections, like people who died from preventable causes but could not receive treatment because hospitals were full,” it said.
Also corroborating the Hopkins University report, Prof. Tikki Pang, a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore’s medical school and co-chair of the Asia Pacific Immunization Coalition, said death rates worldwide are still highest among people unvaccinated against the virus.
Read also: INVESTIGATION: Health workers still collect bribes, issue covid-19 cards without vaccination
“This is a disease of the unvaccinated; look what is happening in Hong Kong right now, the health system is being overwhelmed.
“The large majority of the deaths and the severe cases are in the unvaccinated, vulnerable segment of the population,” Pang, the former director of research policy and cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), said.
The world has seen more than 445 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and new weekly cases have been declining recently in all regions except for the Western Pacific, which includes China, Japan and South Korea, among others, another report by WHO also said on Monday.
According to the report, the United States has the biggest official death toll in the world, but the numbers have been trending downward over the last month, while Hong Kong, which is seeing deaths soar, is testing its entire population of 7.5 million three times this month as it clings to mainland China’s “zero-COVID” strategy.
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