The death toll from Covid-19 worldwide topped 700,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters count, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico at the top of the list of countries with the highest death toll.
Nearly 5,900 people die every 24 hours on average, according to Reuters estimates based on data from the past two weeks. This equates to 247 people per hour or one person every 15 seconds.
The United States and Latin America are the new hotspots of the pandemic and are both struggling to contain the virus.
The coronavirus was relatively slow to reach Latin America, home to about 640 million people. Since then, however, officials have been waging a real battle to curb the spread of the virus, which is favoured by poverty and densely populated cities.
More than 100 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the UN. Many were employed in undeclared jobs and continued to work throughout the pandemic.
The United States, home to about 330 million people, is also affected by the virus, even though it is one of the richest nations in the world.
The US government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said Monday that states with a high number of cases should reconsider imposing restrictions, stressing the need to reduce numbers before the onset of seasonal flu.
Even in parts of the world that seem to have reduced the spread of the virus, countries are once again setting daily records, which means the battle is not over. These include Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Uzbekistan and Israel.