The world has crossed the grim milestone of three million COVID-19 deaths as the latest resurgence of COVID-19 in some countries threatens vaccination efforts across the globe.
The number of coronavirus infections worldwide hit 100 million in late January. But within three months, another 40 million people have been infected, raising the tally to over 140 million, according to worldometer.info.
The figure, which seemed almost unimaginable about a year ago when the disease began spreading, was reached as many countries around the world struggle with shortfalls in COVID-19 vaccine supply and distribution.
In every eight seconds, one person has been infected with the virus, since the start of the year, according to a Reuters analysis, indicating that the disease is still very much with us.
The recent spike in infection is feeding through into fatalities, most especially in India and Brazil.
Brazil is now leading the world in the daily average number of new deaths reported. It accounts for one in every four deaths worldwide each day, according to a Reuters analysis.
The World Health Organisation acknowledged the nation’s dire condition due to coronavirus, saying the country is in a very critical condition with an overwhelmed healthcare system.
India reported a record rise in COVID-19 infections on Monday, becoming the second nation after the United States to post more than 100,000 new cases in a day.
The global coronavirus infections stood at 140,547,010 as of Saturday morning, according to worldometer.info.
Meanwhile, about 3,012,649 people had died from the highly infectious disease as of the time of this report.
That figure includes about 579,942 deaths recorded in the United States, which has lost more people to COVID-19 than any other country.
Brazil has recorded 369,024 as of Saturday morning to become the second-most impacted country in terms of COVID-19 related deaths. India is third with a little over 175,000 deaths.
According to a Reuters tally, it took more than a year for the global coronavirus death toll to reach 2 million. The next one million deaths were added in about three months.
Today, about three of every 10,000 people have died from the disease, according to Devex.
Africa is still the least affected region so far, accounting for only about five per cent of global cases. This is despite earlier predictions that the disease could severely impact the continent.
An earlier UN estimate predicted up to 3.3 million deaths in Africa, if no interventions were put in place.
Yet, the world’s poorest continent is the last region to cross a million threshold of infections.
As of Saturday morning, the continent has reported 4,396,556 cases and 117,057 deaths, according to the African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC).
The figure is about five times lower than the over 32 million infections and more than 579,000 deaths in the U.S. alone.
The majority of infected persons – 3,943,954 – in the continent of over a billion people have recovered and have been discharged after treatment.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has not reported a single death in the past four days. Only three deaths have been reported from the pneumonia-like disease in Nigeria in the past two weeks.
There has also been a steady run of low infection figures in the West African nation with daily cases averaging 200 in the past one month.
Meanwhile, health experts believe official data almost certainly under-reports both infections and deaths due to under-testing on the continent.
Since Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother, became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in early December in the UK, over 150 countries have started administering coronavirus jabs among their populations.
Nearly 850 million vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, equaling 11 doses for every 100 people, according to the latest figures from research and data provider firm, Our World in Data.
The U.S. is leading in the vaccination race, having inoculated nearly 200 million of its population; closely followed by China with over 183 million people vaccinated in the Asian country.
Africa has the slowest vaccination rate of any continent, with many countries yet to start mass vaccination campaigns.
About five weeks after Nigeria commenced vaccination of its citizens, over a million persons have received the first dose of the vaccine in a country of about 200 million.
To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, Nigeria had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its population by 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022.
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