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News > U.S.

UN: COVID-19 Death Toll Exceeds 5 Million Worldwide

  • Global death toll from COVID-19 topped 5 million.

    Global death toll from COVID-19 topped 5 million. "This devastating milestone reminds us that we are failing much of the world. This is a global shame" UN Secretary-General Guterres said. | Photo: Twitter @miki_fern

Published 1 November 2021

In total, more than 246 million people have been infected since the pandemic began in early 2020. According to UN Secretary General António Guterres, these figures represent a global health failure.

Almost two years after the first cases of the Covid-19 virus were detected, the official global death toll surpassed five million on Monday, with the United States, Brazil and India as the hardest-hit countries, according to the Johns Hopkins University count.


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The United States is the country with the highest death toll, with more than 745,800 dead; followed by Brazil, above 607,800; and India with more than 458,000 dead, according to data from the U.S. university center.

In recent months, the number of cases has risen again in the United States with the Delta variant, considered especially highly contagious, while the rate of vaccination has slowed down.

 According to that count, in total, more than 246 million people have been infected since the pandemic began in early 2020, while the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of the growing disparity in access to vaccines as one of the main risks to controlling the pandemic.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, considered that these data, in particular the number of deaths, represents a global failure. He warned that it would be a mistake to think that the pandemic is over.  Guterres further stressed that although restrictions have been reduced in many places, it is necessary to combine vaccination with vigilance, for example with measures that have proven to be effective such as the use of masks or social distancing.

In Guterres' opinion, the five million deaths are a clear warning that it is not possible to lower our guard, that there are still overcrowded hospitals and exhausted health workers, while the risk of new variants spreading and costing more lives continues.

The UN Secretary General added that this figure, which he called devastating, shows that the world is failing, because while rich countries are administering third doses of antiviral vaccines, only five percent of the African population is vaccinated.

Guterres said misinformation, vaccine nationalism and a lack of global solidarity are allowing Covid-19 to continue to spread, and he urged world leaders to increase donations and improve the global distribution of doses to address these problems.

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