Coronavirus death toll tops 2 million worldwide

The world passed another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 2 million people have now died from complications related to COVID-19 worldwide. Nearly one-fifth of those deaths have been in the United States. More than 388,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 complications since the pandemic began, and over 23 million have been infected.

There have been nearly 100 million infections globally.

A man backfills a grave in a cemetary alongside more than a dozen other dug gravesites.
A man backfills a grave in Ortakoy cemetery, a main burial site for people who died during the coronarivus pandemic in Ankara, Turkey, on Dec. 10. (Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)

In September, the World Health Organization warned that the global death toll could reach 2 million if countries did not work together to limit the spread of the virus.

“It’s certainly unimaginable, but it’s not impossible,” Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO executive director, said on Sept. 25.

At that time, eight months into the pandemic, the death toll was approaching 1 million. It has doubled in less than four months.

As grim as the latest figures sound, the actual case and death totals are likely much higher, as many countries do not have extensive testing — and others, like Russia, have been suspected to underreport COVID cases and deaths.

And the mounting cases and deaths have yet to slow despite the rollout of two coronavirus vaccines. More than 35 million doses have been administered in 49 countries so far.

In the U.S., the vaccine rollout has been slow, with just 11.1 million doses administered out of the 30.6 million distributed.

The Trump administration had promised 20 million vaccinations by the end of 2020.

President-elect Joe Biden has set a goal of administering 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office.


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