Researchers say the number of people worldwide who have died from Covid-19 has exceeded one million, with the number of new infections still rising in many regions.
Figures obtained by Johns Hopkins University show that about half of all deaths occur in the U.S., Brazil and India.
Experts warn that the true figure is probably too high.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called it a “mind-boggling figure” and a “painful landmark.”
“Nevertheless, we must never lose sight of each and every individual life,” he said in a video message.
“They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and co-workers. The pain has been multiplied by the agony of this disease.”
The development comes about 10 months after news of the coronavirus arrived in Wuhan, China.
The epidemic has since spread to 188 countries with more than 32 million confirmed cases. Lockdown and other measures to stop the spread of the virus have pushed many economies into recession.
Meanwhile, efforts are underway to develop an effective vaccine – however, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the death toll could reach two million before one becomes widely available.
U.S. Has the highest death toll in the world at about 205,000, followed by Brazil at 141,700 and India at 95,500.
Where does Covid-19 spread the fastest?
U.S. More than seven million cases have been reported in India – more than a fifth of the world’s total. The number dropped in August after a second wave of cases in July but is now on the rise again.
Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in India, with about 90,000 cases reported in the country a day earlier in September.
The number of confirmed infections in India has reached six million – second only to the US. However, given the size of its population, India has a relatively low mortality rate.
Brazil has the highest number of deaths in Latin America, with more than 4.7 million cases, the third highest in the world.
Elsewhere in the region, newly confirmed infections are also growing rapidly in Argentina, with more than 700,000 cases now.
According to experts, how countries report cases and deaths – and due to differences in scattered rates of testing in some regions – the true number of coronavirus cases and deaths is thought to be higher than reported.
How is the search for a vaccine going?
There are about 240 potential vaccines in early development globally, including 40 in clinical trials and nine in the final stages of testing on thousands of people. Vaccine development usually takes years, but scientists are working at a rapid pace due to the global crisis.
One developed by Oxford University – already in the advanced stages of testing – has shown that it can stimulate the immune response and a deal has been struck with AstraZeneca to supply 100 million doses in the UK alone.
In China, Potential vaccines have been shown to produce protective antibodies And is being made available to the Chinese military. However, concerns have been raised about the speed at which the vaccine is produced.
Meanwhile in Russia, scientists say preliminary tests A vaccine called Sputnik-V shows signs of an immune response.
In a report earlier this month, they said that everyone who took part in the test had developed antibodies to fight the virus and had not experienced any serious side effects.
Russia licenses vaccines for domestic use in use gust – the first country to do so. Again, there was concern over the speed of the process and some experts said the initial tests were too small to prove efficacy and safety.
U.S. In, President Donald Trump said Americans should try to get a vaccine as early as October, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the vaccine is not likely to be widely available by mid-2021.
The WHO says it does not expect to see widespread vaccination against Covid-19 by mid-2021.
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