Official COVID-19 death toll worldwide reaches four million



Since the first confirmed death of COVID-19, a 61-year-old man who frequented the Hunan Wet Market in Wuhan, on January 11, 2020, at the time of this writing, 541 days and 3,996,185 lives (according to the table on board the Worldometer) have passed, a rate of nearly 7,400 lives per day.

By the end of the extended weekend of July 4, the number of lives lost will have exceeded 4 million confirmed deaths, with the highest death toll in the United States at 621,300 lives, including nearly 200,000 since Joe Biden became president.

A health worker records information from patients who died of complications from COVID-19, at the mortuary at Zipaquira Regional Hospital, Colombia, on Monday, June 28, 2021. Colombia has become a pandemic hotspot as it knows a third wave of COVID-19 infections and an increase in the number of deaths. (AP Photo / Ivan Valence)

According to a report published in June 2021 by Think about global health, COVID-19 was the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. It accounted for 1 in 20 (5%) of all deaths globally since the pandemic broke out in early 2020. If excessive death estimates are used, it would become the third leading cause of death globally, ahead of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. just behind stroke and heart disease, with “about 7.5 million deaths, or one in ten”. (Estimates are based on revised data published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation)

The report continues: “According to official statistics, COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in France, Spain, England and several US states. But after taking into account the undercoverage of deaths from COVID-19, it was the leading cause of death in the United States, Iran and Italy … “

Almost 185 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide. Weekly statistics tracked by the World Health Organization (WHO) have seen an increase in COVID cases for two consecutive weeks, as cases of the Delta variant have been detected in nearly 100 countries and are increasing. It is rapidly supplanting all previous coronavirus strains except in South America, where the gamma variant (or P1, first detected in Brazil) continues to strike the continent with high case and death rates.

As shown in Figure 1, week after week the biggest burden of death, during most of the pandemic, has been on high-income countries. Until the beginning of April 2020, the United States, Europe and Brazil were considered the epicenters of the COVID pandemic. Since the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, new cases in Europe and the United States have experienced a rapid downward trend, in line with the benefits offered by the life-saving effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Figure 1 – Weekly death rate by WHO region

There has been a noticeable change in the pandemic, with middle and low income countries, where immunization rates remain extremely low, now becoming the main epicenters of the pandemic.

More than 3.2 billion doses of COVID vaccines have been administered worldwide, or 42 doses per 100 people. Africa has only been able to provide 3.8 doses per 100 people so far. According to the COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Initiative (COVAX), they delivered just 95 million doses of vaccine to 134 participating countries.

From April and then until June, India was confronted with a dazzling rate of cases and deaths, inaugurating the passage of the pandemic from the richest countries to the poorest countries. In those three months, India reported 18.2 million cases of COVID-19 and 235,000 deaths from COVID-19, a by-product of the reckless and criminal policies implemented by Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party. For the entire pandemic, India has reported 34.6 million COVID-19 infections and more than 400,000 deaths.

The still high death toll in the Americas, as shown in Figure 1, masks a slide from the United States to Latin American countries. Although these reported numbers are underestimated, South America has so far reported more than 33 million cases of COVID-19 and more than one million deaths. Brazil has carved out the lion’s share of those numbers with 18.8 million COVID infections and more than half a million deaths. However, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Peru have also faced recent catastrophic outbreaks.

Figure 2 – Weekly case and death rates on the African continent

However, it is the shift of the pandemic to the African continent, home to 1.2 billion people, almost all unvaccinated and previously unexposed to the virus, that worries many international public health agencies. The WHO regional office for Africa has reported that cases have been increasing by 25% every week for more than six weeks. Deaths from COVID are increasing exponentially.

WHO Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti said: “The speed and scale of Africa’s third wave is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Cases double every three weeks, compared to every four weeks at the start of the second wave. Nearly 202,000 cases have been reported in the past week, and the continent is on the verge of passing its worst week in history in this pandemic. She explained that there are more people falling ill who require hospitalization, including those under the age of 45. Additionally, the Delta variant appears to cause a more severe and longer period of illness. She made an urgent appeal to countries to share their excess vaccine doses to fill the languid vaccine gap amid the worst wave of the pandemic.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti

Yet despite the gains seen in recent months in Europe and the United States, the number of cases has risen again, now including the number of deaths in Europe (a lagging indicator). While tourism and the opening of economic activities are well underway, these initiatives will further fuel the spread of the virus to the four corners of the planet.

Instead of heeding the implications of these statistics and calling for the continuation or resumption of public health measures, especially in the context of the highly transmissible variant Delta which is rapidly dominating all other strains, President Biden and his European counterparts have in essence officially declared the pandemic over.

Mark Honigsbaum, author of the recent volume on mass epidemics, The century of the pandemic, noted: “Few events are as compelling as an epidemic. When severe enough, an epidemic elicits responses from all sectors of society, exposing social and economic fault lines and presenting politicians with difficult medical and moral choices. In the most extreme cases, an epidemic can foment a full-fledged political crisis. “

Unlike previous global plagues that plagued human civilizations, the COVID pandemic is unique because the world has the science and technology to track and eradicate the virus. At the same time, resources can be provided for everyone to endure core inconveniences such as school closures, blockages, movement restrictions, travel mitigation and social distancing, public health measures needed to bring back the number of infections to zero.

The ruling classes openly and insidiously promoted a policy of mass infection at every turn of the pandemic, stopping only with limited or brief deadlocks when health systems became so inundated that no other remedy would suffice. They ignored the science that has shown schools and children to be critical vectors of the pandemic. And have used vaccine nationalism to substitute for public health policies needed to protect lives.

The pandemic has claimed at least 4 million lives that should never have been lost, if the ruling elites of major capitalist countries had put lives and livelihoods ahead of their commercial interests and used their trillions of resources for end it. Their failure demonstrates the total bankruptcy of capitalism and the historical necessity of socialism.


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