Fresh reports have confirmed more people have died from Covid-19 globally in 2021 than the entirety of 2020 when the viral outbreak began.
The world suffered 1.88 million Covid deaths in 2020. That number has already reached 1.9 million less than halfway through this year, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
"Increasingly, we see a two-track pandemic. Many countries still face an extremely dangerous situation, while some of those with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions," World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week in a virtual press conference.
The United States has fared better in 2021 compared to the wider global trend, with 247,000 Covid deaths reported in 2021, compared with 352,000 last year. Still, the US is on pace to easily suffer more fatalities from Covid-19 this year than last year.
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The total of 599,000 coronavirus deaths in the US is the highest of any single nation. However, the report largely excludes data from China where the virus originated.
Brazil and India report much higher death tallies in 2021 than in 2020. The number of dead in Brazil rose from 195,000 last year to 289,000 already this year; in India, the 2020 death toll of 149,000 has already ballooned to 218,000 in 2021.
The grim new statistic came after America's public health agency, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called an emergency meeting to discuss rare cases of people experiencing heart inflammation after receiving doses of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines.
According to CDC data, there have been 275 reported cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in patients between the ages of 16 and 24 in the United States.
The cases of heart inflammation represent a tiny fraction of the 130 million people who have been fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in the US, and no causal link has been established yet.
– with New York Post