The worldwide COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 3 million as countries compete with one another over vaccines for immunization.
Data released by global trackers showed that 3,024,350 people have died so far from the coronavirus outbreak as of Sunday while the case tally rose above 140 million. India, Brazil and the US were the countries where most of the deaths occurred.
India reported on Sunday that there had been 261,500 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24-hour period. The number of fatalities reported in the past day was 1,501 people, raising the death toll to around 176,000. A new variant of the novel coronavirus, which has undergone a so-called double mutation, is thought to be fueling India’s new wave of infections.
More than 371,000 people have died in Brazil from COVID-19 after 2,929 fatalities were registered in the past 24 hours, the country’s Ministry of Health reported. Another 67,636 cases were registered in the same period, according to the Ministry.
The United States continues to have the highest number of COVID deaths, at 566,893, despite having a high rate in vaccinations.
More than 1 out of every 5 Americans is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The US and six other wealthy nations, including Canada and several European countries, have received the huge majority of the vaccines produced until now and are on track to vaccinate most of their populations by mid-2022, according to media reports.
Meantime, elsewhere in the world vaccination rates are much lower. The entire continent of Africa, for example, has administered just 2 percent of the world’s vaccine doses so far. Impoverished countries such as Haiti have yet to receive a single vaccine dose.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned last week the weekly number of new cases had more than doubled over the past two months, approaching the highest infection rate seen since the pandemic began.
He said the infection numbers have begun to rise steadily since February, following six consecutive weeks of decline.
“Some countries that had previously avoided widespread COVID -19 transmission are now seeing steep increases in infections,” the WHO director told reporters at a briefing.
Experts say part of the surge in the number of infections in nearly all regions, including Latin America, India, Poland and Turkey is due to emerging new variants of the virus which are more infectious than the original novel cornavirus found in Wuhan, China.
However, the gradual easing of restrictions by some governments and overall pandemic fatigue are also contributing to the global spread of the disease.