The global death toll from coronavirus has topped three million people amid repeated setbacks in the worldwide vaccination campaign and a deepening crisis in places such as Brazil, India and France.
The number of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US, is about equal to the population of Kyiv, Ukraine; Caracas, Venezuela; or metropolitan Lisbon, Portugal.
It is bigger than Chicago (2.7 million) and equivalent to Philadelphia and Dallas combined.
However, the true number is believed to be significantly higher because of possible government concealment and the many cases overlooked in the early stages of the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.
Worldwide, COVID-19 deaths are on the rise again, running at around 12,000 per day on average, and new cases are climbing too, eclipsing 700,000 a day.
“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic, where we have proven control measures,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, one of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) leaders on COVID-19.
In Brazil, where deaths are running at about 3,000 per day, accounting for a quarter of the lives lost worldwide in recent weeks, the crisis has been likened to a “raging inferno” by one WHO official.