The coronavirus is killing one person every eight seconds around the world.The frightening statistic comes from data on the international World Health Organisation (WHO) Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard.
The WHO recorded 9989 new deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours – making yesterday the third deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic.
In Europe, where cases are surging in multiple countries across the continent, the outlook is also grim, and WHO Europe’s director warned one person is being killed by the virus every 17 seconds.
In the five minutes it might take you to read this article and browse some apps on your phone, 37 people will have died from COVID-19, and another person will be seconds away from losing their life.
On April 17, as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold around the world, the death rate peaked at its highest daily number, killing 12,432 in a single day.
The second deadliest day occurred on August 15, when 10,016 people were killed in a single day by the virus. And Thursday marked the third deadliest day in a year since the virus surfaced in the community.
Just over one year after the first case of the virus was reported in Wuhan, China, more than 55 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 1,344,003 million of those people have died.
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COVID-19 is a potentially deadly disease, but it’s hard to make sense of how the situation got so out of control, in so many countries around the globe.
WHO numbers point to the largest number of deaths reported in the Americas and Europe. In the Americas, which includes the United States and Brazil, 686,129 deaths have been reported.
In Europe, some 359,195 deaths have been reported. The numbers from those two regions account for 1.04 million of the world’s 1.3 million coronavirus deaths.
In Brazil and the United States, both countries have been hampered by disjointed approaches to tackling the pandemic from leaders who have continually downplayed the seriousness of the virus, and sought to undermine lockdown orders implemented at the state level.
US President Donald Trump has publicly criticised senior members of his own White House Coronavirus Task Force and spent many months of the pandemic refusing to wear a face mask.
The President has also publicly criticised coronavirus restrictions put in place by governors from Democratic held states, tweeting, “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” “LIBERATE VIRGINIA!” during heated anti-lockdown protests earlier this year.
After Mr Trump contracted coronavirus and needed to be hospitalised for his illness, he continued to downplay its severity suggesting in a tweet US citizens could learn to “live with Covid”.
The post was later hidden from Twitter for “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19”.
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The death toll from COVID-19 in the US has continued to rise. In the past week, the US reached two grim milestones: reporting one million new cases in seven days, and reporting a quarter million deaths from the virus.
The death toll, which surpassed 250,000 on Thursday, was beyond what had been the worst case scenario predictions from the White House for spring, according to The Washington Post.
The dire situation is now almost certainly expected to continue to accelerate in the country, as hospitals across multiple states become overloaded and medical staff report becoming fatigued and overwhelmed.
In the US, families are now being urged not to travel to celebrate Thanksgiving by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, as cases surge around the country.
In Brazil, there have been more than 5.9 million cases of coronavirus, and more than 166,000 deaths, according to the WHO, making it the third worst affected country in the world, after India and the US. Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, announced on July 7 he’d tested positive for COVID-19, after earlier dismissing the virus as “a little flu”.
In the weeks before testing positive, Mr Bolsonaro urged businesses to reopen in defiance of lockdown orders put in place by some governors, and had failed to name a health minister for his own government to help tackle the crisis in Brazil.
Hans Kluge, the WHO Europe director, has warned Europe faces a “tough” six months, as the continent again becomes the epicentre of the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Kluge said the continent had reported 29,000 deaths in the past week alone, according to the BBC. However, he said lockdowns being enforced across the continent were proving effective, as the number of new cases was beginning to decline.
Mr Kluge said Europe currently accounted for 28 per cent of the world’s cases, and 26 per cent of global deaths from COVID-19. He said the situation was concerning in Switzerland and France where intensive care units had reached 95 per cent capacity.
“Europe is once again the epicentre of the pandemic, together with the United States,” Mr Kluge told reporters from Copenhagen.
He said in Europe figures showed there was “one person dying every 17 seconds”.
He referenced the development of effective vaccines, but said before a widespread roll out, it will be a difficult period for the continent.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel but it will be a tough six months,“ Mr Kluge said.
In South East Asia, 156,439 deaths have been reported, and in the Eastern Mediterranean 93,548 deaths have also been reported.
In the continent of Africa some 32,060 deaths have been reported and in the Western Pacific some 16,619 deaths have been reported.