‘Not a game’: Two million people have now died of COVID-19
Grim milestone reached as countries battle rising infections despite gradual roll-out of vaccination campaigns.
The global death toll from COVID-19 has now crossed two million.
The landmark was reached on Friday amid a vaccine roll-out so immense but so uneven that in some countries there is real hope of vanquishing the outbreak, while in other parts of the world, it seems a far-off dream.
The numbing figure was crossed just more than a year after the coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The number of dead, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the population of Brussels, Mecca, Minsk or Vienna.
More than 93 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Europe is the continent where the health crisis has proved most deadly, with 650,560 deaths to date.
Latin America and the Caribbean have recorded 542,410 deaths, while the United States and Canada have counted 407,090.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for global solidarity in tackling the pandemic as he marked the “heart-wrenching” milestone.
“Sadly, the deadly impact of the pandemic has been made worse by the absence of a global coordinated effort,” he said in a video.