(CMR) The global COVID-19 death toll reached two million on Friday, even as several countries have started vaccinating their population against the virus.
However, it is believed that the real toll could be significantly higher because of inadequate testing and the many fatalities that were inaccurately attributed to other causes during the early outbreak.
Eight months after the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, the death toll reached 1 million, and four months after it is at 2 million.
Several countries have implemented flight restrictions and new rules for travelers as the virus continues to spread rapidly, putting a strain on health systems globally.
On Friday, UK banned travel from South America and Portugal amid fears that a new variant of COVID-19 in Brazil could be more contagious.
The ban comes weeks after a new variant of the virus was also identified in the UK, forcing several countries to ban travel from there.
The UK halted travel from Argentina, Chile, Peru, and several other South American countries at 4 am on Friday.
The travel ban was also applied to Portugal because of its close relationship with Brazil.
The ban does not apply to British and Irish nationals and other nationals with residence rights in the U.K. However, travelers from banned destinations will be required to quarantine for 10 days.
Like the variants discovered in South Africa and the UK, Brazil's variant is believed to be more contagious.
Brazil and several South and Central American countries had already restricted travel from the UK before this latest ban.