The coronavirus pandemic has already cost the lives of four million people in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It is the equivalent, for example, to the entire population of the cities of Madrid and Seville together.
The country that reports the most deaths is the United States, with some 606,000 deaths, followed by Brazil (528,000) and India (404,000), which experienced a spectacular increase in deaths due to the virulence of the delta variant. The top five positions are completed by Mexico (234,000) and Peru (193,000) —it has multiplied its deaths by 3.5 in just over two months—, followed by Russia (137,000). The global scale continues with three European countries: the United Kingdom, Italy and France. The top 10 positions end with Colombia.
Spain is the fourteenth country with the most accumulated deaths according to this organization (80,969), although it is the thirtieth in total population. It has dropped positions compared to when it reached the third million deaths: then it was the tenth country with the most deaths. The number of deaths has dropped drastically thanks to the vaccination of vulnerable groups. While in the worst moments of the pandemic, 900 deaths were registered in a single day in Spain, on Wednesday 17.
If the population is taken into account, the order is very different. The countries with the most deaths per million inhabitants are Peru (5,876), Hungary (3,105), Bosnia Herzegovina (2,946), Czech Republic (2,830) and San Marino (2,651). Although the United States is the country with the most deaths, in the ratio by number of inhabitants it is the twentieth in the world. The second with the most deaths, Brazil, is the ninth. Spain is the twenty-fourth.
By continents, Europe takes the worst part with 1.1 million deaths. South America accumulates one million deaths and North America, 906,000. Asia, the most populous continent and the place where the virus originated, adds 807,000 deaths. Africa records 148,000. The least hit continent is Oceania, with only 1,156 deaths. The main countries in this area, Australia and New Zealand, have fought the virus with very aggressive restrictions, imposing lockdowns with very few cases and suspending mobility with the rest of the world. In relation to population, both South America (2,382 per million inhabitants) and North America (1,530) present worse data than Europe (1,485).
The first million deaths were recorded on September 27, 2020, 202 days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a global pandemic in March. The second million arrived on January 15, in half the time: 108 days. The third was notified 92 days later, on April 17. Along the same lines, this new million deaths are exceeded in a shorter period of time than the previous ones: in 82 days.
The lowest death toll since October
The latest WHO weekly epidemic balance sheet points to Africa and Europe as critical areas: in the first continent, mortality from coronavirus increased by 23% compared to the previous week, while in the second the incidence increased by 30%. Globally, the WHO registered 54,000 new deaths in the last week, the lowest number since October 2020.
But this body calls not to lower our guard, since, after seven weeks of falls in the number of cases, in the last two reports there have been increases: all continents, except America, report more diagnoses than the previous week. Among the reasons for the worsening in some areas, the WHO points to new variants, such as the delta – 65% more contagious -, the differences in the rate of vaccination between countries – while the European Union has immunized with at least a dose to 63% of its population, Africa has only injected a puncture at 2.68% – and the lifting of restrictions – as in Spain, which is making way for a higher rate of infections among young people.
The countries that reported the most cases in the last week were Brazil (364,709; 30% less than the previous week), India (312,250, 11% less), Colombia (204,556, same as last week), Indonesia (168,780, 35 % more), and the United Kingdom (161,805, 67% more). The Prime Minister of the latter country, Boris Johnson, has announced that all restrictions due to the pandemic end on July 18 in England.
The four million deaths reported by Johns Hopkins University do not reflect the real impact of the pandemic on human lives. Many people have died from coronavirus around the world without entering these statistics because the diagnosis was not confirmed before passing away. In Spain, as in other countries in the world due to the shortage of tests, this situation was especially pressing during the first wave, when thousands of people died without it being possible to confirm that the cause was the coronavirus. Estimates based on excess mortality data from the Carlos III Health Institute (Momo) and the National Institute of Statistics coincide in indicating as probable deaths from coronavirus about 25,000 more people than those registered by the Ministry of Health.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.