The official global death toll from Covid-19 has exceeded 4 million, roughly equal to the population of Los Angeles, according to data from Johns Hopkins University released Wednesday evening.
The World Health Organization and public health experts have suggested that the number, which comes nearly a year and a half after the virus was declared a global pandemic, is still an underestimate of the actual number due to underreported or missed deaths around the world.
The United States continues to lead the world with the highest reported death toll at over 600,000, followed by Brazil and India.
More than six months after the vaccines became available, reported deaths from Covid-19 around the world have fallen to around 7,900 per day, after reaching more than 18,000 per day in January, the Associated Press reported.
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The world is returning to a sense of normalcy, with the postponement of the Euro 2020 football tournament and the Tokyo Olympics taking place this summer. The global economy is also starting to rebound after being battered by coronavirus restrictions, and even cruise ships, one of the primary vectors for the virus to spread, are resuming trips after a hiatus of more than a year.
But as mounting vaccination campaigns in the United States and across Europe usher in a period of easing restrictions, emerging variants of the virus, including the highly contagious delta variant, are spreading rapidly and worrying officials of the virus. health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that it is now the dominant strain of the coronavirus in the United States.
The economic and social disparities created and exacerbated during the pandemic are also cause for concern.
Last month, leaders of the world’s seven richest countries agreed to donate one billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine to the poorest countries over the next year to help bridge the inequality gap , but the commitment is well below the 11 billion doses the WHO has declared necessary to immunize at least 70 percent of the world’s population.
Almost 3.3 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide, according to data from the University of Oxford in the UK. According to the university, only one percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
The Associated Press contributed.