The coronavirus pandemic keeps the world on alert with more than one million deaths from COVID-19 globally, while short-term expectations are not good, according to forecasts from several specialists.
Since September 28 and according to the Johns Hopkins University calculation, the planet has exceeded the threshold of one million deaths. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has brought a lot of consternation, nine months after it was discovered in China at the end of 2019. And the worst thing is that the figure continues to rise, with nearly 5,000 new deaths are reported every day.
“Our world has reached an agonizing milestone: the loss of a million lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an overwhelming figure,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed in a statement, adding that “the pain has been multiplied by the brutality of this disease.” The secretary-general recalled that the data cannot be seen as a cold number: “They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues.”
No one is left out of this disease, classified as a pandemic since March 11 by the World Health Organization. According to the Johns Hopkins University data, more than 33.39 million cases of pathogen infection have been detected throughout the world, including 1,002,628 deaths and some 23.18 million recoveries. Undoubtedly the largest pandemic that has hit the world’s population in several decades.
Latin America at the ‘forefront’
One of the regions most affected by the pandemic is Latin America and the Caribbean, with several countries with high rates of infections and high death rates from the disease. As of September 28, there were over 9.22 million confirmed cases. One of those that has registered a considerable increase in infections is Argentina with more than 723,000 cases. But the most worrisome are the fatalities, which in the Latin American and Caribbean region exceed 341,600. Experts caution that due to differences in how deaths are recorded in each country, the true figure is likely much higher.
By countries worldwide, the US accumulates the highest number of deaths with more than 205,000 deaths associated with COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The northern nation is escorted by:
- Brazil with more than 142,000 deaths,
- India (+96,300),
- Mexico (+76,600),
- the United Kingdom (+42,000).
But other states also have worrying figures, such as Peru, which accumulates more than 32,300 COVID-19 deaths and also has the highest mortality rate, with 98 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Belgium (86), Bolivia (67), Spain (67) and Brazil (67).
Colombia with more than 25,600 deaths, Argentina (+16,100) and Chile (+12,600) join the nations with the worst figures in the worst-hit region on the planet. That is why the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) requested on September 28 greater cooperation between the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean to face COVID-19.
“Cooperation is taking place, but we are recommending to place greater emphasis on this; especially since we have observed that in some cases there has been a disruption in logistics due, for example, to some government decisions to close borders and prevent air traffic,” said the representative in Uruguay of PAHO, Giovanni Escalante.
The world on alert
In Europe, the situation is quite complex since alarming figures have been registered in many countries for weeks, something to which the European director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Hans Kluge, drew attention in an interview with AFP, in which he affirmed that the epidemiological situation “will become more difficult” in October and November, months in which he says that mortality from the virus will increase considerably.
Several European countries have adopted a number of measures that reflect the concern of the authorities about the increase in cases. In Europe, more than 5.7 million cases have been identified, of which more than 235,000 were fatal.
Spain reports about 10,000 infected daily and on September 28 the Ministry of Health raised the total number of cases registered since the beginning of the health crisis to 748,266 and a total balance of deaths among infected people is 31,411.
The situation in Germany is also worrying, so Angela Merkel’s government has asked Germans to wear masks and respect quarantine periods and “hygiene standards.”
Likewise, control measures are taken in France, Greece, Italy and other nations that currently register data higher than those seen during the initial months of the pandemic.
Asia, the first region hit by the coronavirus, has had almost eight million confirmed cases, as well as 135,000 deaths to date, while Oceania is the least affected, with just under 1,000 deaths and 33,000 infected. The pandemic has spread to 188 countries, almost the entire world.
Images of the dead on the streets of Guayaquil (Ecuador), Wuhan or New York are still fresh in memory, and that’s why more understanding of people is being called for, because as WHO warned, COVID-19 deaths could double to two million if measures to prevent contagion are not followed.
“And there is still no end in sight for the spread of the virus, the loss of jobs, the disruption of education, the turmoil in our lives. We can meet this challenge. But we must learn from our mistakes. Responsible leadership is important, science matters, Cooperation matters, and misinformation kills,” said Guterres on September 28, who also called for maintaining physical distance, wearing masks and washing hands.