LONDON/ROME – Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide crossed 3 million on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, as the latest global resurgence of Covid-19 infections is challenging vaccination efforts across the globe.
Worldwide Covid-19 deaths are rising once again, especially in Brazil and India. Health officials blame more infectious variants that were first detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa, along with public fatigue with lockdowns and other restrictions.
According to a Reuters tally, it took more than a year for the global coronavirus death toll to reach 2 million. The next 1 million deaths were added in about three months.
Brazil is leading the world in the daily average number of new deaths reported and accounts for one in every four deaths worldwide each day, according to a Reuters analysis.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) acknowledged the nation’s dire condition due to coronavirus, saying the country is in a very critical condition with an overwhelmed healthcare system.
“Indeed there is a very serious situation going on in Brazil right now, where we have a number of states in critical condition,” WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove told a briefing last Thursday, adding that many hospital intensive care units are more than 90 per cent full.
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 European region, which includes 51 countries, has the highest total number of deaths at nearly 1.1 million.
Five European countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Italy and Germany constitute about 60 per cent of Europe’s total coronavirus-related deaths.
The United States has the highest number of deaths of any country in the world at 555,000 and accounts for about 19 per cent of all deaths in the world due to Covid-19. Cases have risen for the last three weeks but health officials believe the nation’s rapid vaccination campaign may prevent a rise in deaths. A third of the population has received at least one dose of a vaccine.
G20 to discuss uneven recovery from Covid on Wednesday
The world’s financial leaders will discuss on April 7 how to coordinate policies to prevent their virus-battered economies emerging from recession at highly different speeds, officials said ahead of the virtual meeting.
When finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s top 20 economies hold their video-conference the patchy response to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis will be high on their agenda, officials from the Italian presidency said.
Italy, which chairs the G20 this year, held a briefing ahead of Wednesday’s meeting and officials said the group would reaffirm the need not to ease stimulus measures too soon and discuss how to help debt-laden poor countries.
In contrast to the first meeting of Italy’s presidency in February, this one will be followed by an official communique.