(CMR) According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of people killed worldwide by the coronavirus has surpassed 5 million in less than two years. Nearly half of these deaths are from wealthier countries that make up one-eighth of the world's population, AP reported.
The United States alone accounts for 740,000 deaths, the most of any official count, though many countries are believed to have much larger death tolls than their official numbers.
Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of Columbia University's ICAP global health center, said that high-resource countries have a higher death toll because they have a large vulnerable population such as elderly people, people who have recovered from major illnesses such as cancer, and people living in nursing homes. On the other hand, poorer countries tend to have a larger population of young people.
According to AP, hot spots have shifted over the 22 months since the outbreak began. Some countries, such as the US, are now seeing a decrease in cases, while the virus is pummeling Russia, Ukraine, and other parts of Eastern Europe, especially where rumors, misinformation, and distrust in government have hobbled vaccination efforts. In Ukraine, only 17% of the adult population is fully vaccinated; in Armenia, only 7%.
Despite its terrifying delta surge that peaked in early May, India now has a much lower reported daily death rate than wealthier Russia, the US, or Britain. However, there is uncertainty around its figures, AP reported.
Africa is the world's least vaccinated region, with just 5% of the population of 1.3 billion people fully covered.
“This devastating milestone reminds us that we are failing much of the world. This is a global shame,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a written statement.