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Coronavirus Death Toll Hits 1 Million Worldwide in Nine Months

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Coronavirus Death Toll Hits 1 Million Worldwide in Nine Months

2020-09-29 22:53:35

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Coronavirus research (Image source: Public domain)

It was a milestone we saw coming. It's not a welcomed milestone. Just as the United States recently passed the 200,000 coronavirus-related deaths milestone in the country, worldwide the number of deaths has passed one million.

In addition to that, 33 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2. It's believed that the true number of those who have had the virus is much higher. Surveys have indicated that only about 1 in 10 of the people who contract the virus ever test positive.

This has moved the focus away from testing and on to solving the global pandemic and getting vaccines in places. There are more than 1,700 vaccines that are in various stages of trials for the WHO. The United States is embarking on its own vaccine search.

The reason for that big push in the vaccines is that the global COVID-19 death toll was over one million on Monday, following the Johns Hopkins University count that has been ticking daily across all different regions and countries.

Just as the number of cases is likely higher, the true number of those who have died from coronavirus-related causes is likely higher as well. Global mortality rates show that more people have died in 2020 that is typical. This shows that either COVID-19 is killing more people than what has been determined or that people with other health issues aren't able to get the access to treatment they need because of the resources being used by the pandemic.

"One million is a terrible number," said Mike Ryan, assigned to oversee the emergency response for the World Health Organization. "there is a lot that can be done to save lives."

Worse yet, along with that 1 million death toll, there's no sign that it's slowing down, despite periods where it has seemed as if it would. We were told we would get a second surge in the fall. Here we are, the fall, yet it doesn't seem like we ever had a reprieve from it.

"with the Northern Hemisphere's flu season approaching, and with cases and hospitalizations increasing, many countries find themselves struggling to strike the right balance between protecting public health, protecting personal liberty, and protecting their economies," explained Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, last week.

At this point, nine months in, more Americans have both tested positive for coronavirus and died than any other nation, according to John Hopkins. 7.1 million Americans have tested positive, while about 204,000 have died.

It doesn't appear that the United States will be #1 for very long. It looks as though India will soon surpass the U.S. in number of cases. More than 90,000 people test positive each day in India, which is about double the stats in the U.S. Around 1,000 Indians are dying each day. To date, they have recorded just over 95,000 deaths, but how quickly will it reach the same numbers as the U.S.?

Taking it a step further, more than 400 people are dying each day in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, following European Center for Disease Control data. South Africa has one of the highest death rates in the world as well. While coronavirus outbreaks have subsided in Europe recently, there are signs it will have a fall resurgence, thanks to kids and adults returning to work and school.

The United Kingdom, with 42,000 deaths, is enforcing new restrictions on bars and restaurants. However, there are some epidemiologists who do not believe that will be enough. Israel has returned to lockdowns, and Russian authorities are suggesting there will be new restrictions put on business.

There has been a resurgence as well in viral cases in the Midwest and Mountain West states to show how dire it could get in the winter months with more people staying inside and a larger risk of infections. There are spikes throughout the country with worries we're headed to a new wave of infections.

"People, I think, really get inured to 500 to 1,000 deaths a day, like what's the big deal," Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Hill in a recent interview. "No, no, that's a really big deal." 

For some perspective, on March 25, when lockdowns were new to the U.S., there were 20,800 deaths worldwide. There are now one million. Additionally, the deaths here in the U.S. are 10 times that amount.

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