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Death toll from coronavirus pandemic hits 3 million

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Healthcare workers care for a COVID-19 patient at a makeshift hospital in Brazil (Credit: Reuters)

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 3 million on late Friday, according to a BNO News count, as countries raced to administer vaccines in the face of new outbreaks fueled by fast-spreading variants.

It took roughly 9 months for the first 1 million deaths and 4 months for the second, but only 3 months to go from 2 million to 3 million deaths. The true figure, however, is likely much higher as many countries have reported excess deaths which surpass the coronavirus death toll.

“Behind this staggering number are names and faces: the smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said previously.

Daily cases and deaths from coronavirus were declining at the start of this year but are rising once again, fueled by outbreaks in countries such as Brazil, India, Poland, and Turkey. Other places, like Israel, have contained coronavirus with massive vaccination drives.

India reported 233,575 new cases on Friday, by far the biggest one-day increase so far, and a record 1,338 new deaths. Israel, on the other hand, reported only 34 new cases, the lowest in nearly a year, with more than 57% of the population at least partially vaccinated.

The novel coronavirus, officially known as SARS-CoV-2, first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. The virus has spread to nearly every country on Earth, infecting at least 140 million people. Millions more were infected without getting tested.

Nearly 570,000 deaths from coronavirus have been reported in the U.S. alone, making it one of the worst-affected countries in the world. It is followed by Brazil (368,749), Mexico (211,213), India (175,673), the UK (127,225), Italy (116,366), and Russia (104,795).

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