Pune | Updated: July 9, 2021 10:37:21 am
The world crossed a grim milestone on Wednesday, with Covid-19 deaths crossing the four million (40 lakh) mark. That is more than four times the number of deaths that happen in India in a normal year.
Although the daily death count has come down to an extent, between 6,000 and 8,000 deaths are still being reported every day from across the world. India alone is accounting for 800 to 900 of these deaths.
With over six lakh deaths until now, the United States has the highest number of Covid-19 fatalities, followed by Brazil (over five lakh) and India. which recently crossed four lakh. India’s share in the global death toll has remained steady, at around 10%, for several months now.
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Rising deaths in Latin America
Brazil has been reporting a large number of deaths since August-September last year, and so has Mexico. But in the last few months, countries like Peru, Colombia and Argentina have seen a very sharp rise in Covid-19 deaths. In fact, Peru has now emerged as the country with the highest number of deaths per million population — nearly 6,000, when the world average is only about 51.
India has a per-million proportion close to 300 while the United States has seen over 1,800 deaths per million population. Brazil and Colombia have more than 2,000 deaths per million. (See table)
The high fatality rates in countries like Peru and Colombia has triggered global attention towards the Lambda variant of the virus. This variant is the most dominant one in circulation in Latin America, and accounts for over 80% of all infections in Peru. As of now, the Lambda variant has not been linked to increased fatality, but researchers also note that there haven’t been enough studies on this variant.
Vaccines are preventing deaths
The death count is showing a declining trend in the countries with relatively better penetration of vaccines. The US and countries in Europe that have the best access to vaccines are seeing much fewer deaths now, even when there is a rise in the number of cases. In the United Kingdom, for example, the daily count of cases right now is nearly 10 times what it was at the end of May. And yet, deaths have remained at more or less the same level, about 20 to 30 every day, sometimes even lower. In countries like France, Italy or Germany, deaths have been declining steadily.
The US has seen both case numbers and deaths fall steadily in the last couple of months. As of now, the country is reporting between 10,000 and 15,000 cases every day, and 300 to 400 deaths.
Overall, deaths are decreasing
The daily count of deaths has been showing a declining trend for the last one month at least, after seeing a big spike in April and May, driven mainly by India’s second wave. At that time, close to 15,000 deaths were being reported every day, of which about 4,000 were being contributed by India alone. Since the middle of June, the global death count has been consistently below 10,000. On a few days, it has fallen below 5,000.
As of now, the maximum number of deaths are being reported from Brazil, where more than 1,500 deaths are getting recorded every day. Indonesia has been reporting almost as many deaths as India these days. Russia is in the same range.