Global coronavirus death toll tops 2 million: U.S. tally

©Kyodo News

The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded 2 million amid an accelerating pace of fatalities, a tally by Johns Hopkins University of the United States showed Friday.

The death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has doubled in about three and a half months since it passed the 1 million mark on Sept. 29.

The latest data indicate that the world health crisis has become more severe despite efforts by countries around the globe to prevent the spread of the virus by shutting down businesses, restricting travel, tightening border controls and promoting social distancing.

Hospitals and clinics are running short of beds and other medical supplies amid a resurgence in the number of coronavirus cases in many countries.

Although vaccination against the coronavirus is under way in some countries including Britain and the United States, it remains uncertain whether vaccines will be fully distributed to all the countries that need it, particularly the poorest ones.

Deaths from COVID-19 increased by 100,000 in a week, the shortest span of time yet, meaning the pandemic continues to take a toll on people around the world while the global economy reels from the prolonged slowdown of business activities and restrictions on social life.

Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases worldwide has surpassed 93 million and is expected to reach 100 million soon. The figure stood at roughly 30 million cases in late September.

By country, the United States has been hit hardest with over 390,000 deaths, followed by Brazil with some 207,000 and India at 151,000.

Among European countries, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have seen over 2 million coronavirus cases each, with most reporting more than 50,000 deaths.