Coronavirus: Global death toll passes 2 million

Toll ‘made worse by the absence of a global co-ordinated effort’, says UN secretary general

Health workers treat new Covid-19 patients within the Intensive Care Unit of the Alberto Sabogal Hospital, in Callao, Peru on January 15th. Photograph: Luis Angel Gonzalez/EPA

Health workers treat new Covid-19 patients within the Intensive Care Unit of the Alberto Sabogal Hospital, in Callao, Peru on January 15th. Photograph: Luis Angel Gonzalez/EPA

 

Two million people have now died worldwide with coronavirus, figures show.

The tally by the Johns Hopkins University passed the threshold on Friday, showing a new figure of 2,000,905.

The university, based in Baltimore in the US state of Maryland, says that more than 93 million people worldwide have been infected by the Covid-19 virus.

The milestone was reached just over a year after the coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan and as vaccines developed at breakneck speed are being rolled out around the world in an all-out campaign to vanquish the threat.

The number of dead is about equal to the population of Brussels, Mecca, Minsk or Vienna.

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 one 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 UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

He said the toll “has been made worse by the absence of a global co-ordinated effort”.

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