58°F
weather icon Clear

Global death toll from COVID-19 tops 2M amid vaccine push

The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 2 million Friday as vaccines developed at breakneck speed are being rolled out around the world in an all-out campaign to vanquish the threat.

The milestone was reached just over a year after the coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The number of dead, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the population of Brussels, Mecca, Minsk or Vienna. It is roughly equivalent to the population of the Cleveland metropolitan area or the entire state of Nebraska.

Real tally likely higher

While the count is based on figures supplied by government agencies around the world, the real toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of inadequate testing and the many fatalities that were inaccurately attributed to other causes, especially early in the outbreak.

It took eight months to hit 1 million dead. It took less than four months after that to reach the next million.

“Behind this terrible number are names and faces — the smile that will now only be a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He said the toll “has been made worse by the absence of a global coordinated effort.”

‘Solidarity has failed’

“Science has succeeded, but solidarity has failed,” he said.

In wealthy countries including the United States, Britain, Israel, Canada and Germany, millions of citizens have already been given some measure of protection with at least one dose of vaccine developed with revolutionary speed and quickly authorized for use.

But elsewhere, immunization drives have barely gotten off the ground. Many experts are predicting another year of loss and hardship in places like Iran, India, Mexico and Brazil, which together account for about a quarter of the world’s deaths.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Capacity limits lifted at Arizona restaurants, businesses

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lifted capacity restrictions at gyms, restaurants and other businesses Friday, citing lower COVID-19 cases and increased vaccination as he eases up on the pandemic restrictions that have upended life for nearly a year.

Rodimer again running for Congress, this time in Texas

Dan “Big Dan” Rodimer, the former professional wrestler who lost a bid for Congress in Nevada’s 3rd District in November, has announced another congressional bid, this time in a special election in Texas’ 6th District.

Ending year-long COVID-19 lockdown, Pope arrives in Iraq

Pope Francis, who wore a facemask during the flight, kept it on as he descended the stairs to the tarmac and was greeted by two masked children in traditional dress. But health measures appeared lax inside the airport despite Iraq’s worsening coronavirus outbreak.

Man found dead with motorcycle inside Grand Canyon

A body believed to be that of a Kentucky man previously reported missing at Grand Canyon National Park was found along with a motorcycle inside the canyon, park officials said Thursday.

California to give 40% of vaccine doses to most vulnerable areas

California will begin setting aside 40% of all vaccine doses for the state’s most vulnerable neighborhoods in an effort to inoculate people most at risk from the coronavirus and get the state’s economy open more quickly.

Agents: SUV in deadly crash drove through border fence

Surveillance video showed a Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Suburban drive through the opening early Tuesday. It’s believed they were part of a migrant smuggling operation.