The global coronavirus death toll has surpassed a staggering three million people amid repeated setbacks in the global vaccination campaign and a deepening crisis in countries like Brazil, India and France.
The number of lives lost compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US is roughly equivalent to the population of Kiev in Ukraine. Caracas, Venezuela; or metropolis Lisbon, Portugal.
It is larger than Chicago (2.7 million) and is the equivalent of Philadelphia and Dallas combined.
The real number is believed to be significantly higher due to possible government concealment and the many cases overlooked in the early stages of the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China in late 2019.
When the world passed the dismal two million deaths mark in January, vaccination campaigns had just begun in Europe and the United States.
Today they are underway in more than 190 countries, although progress in fighting the virus has varied widely.
As the US and UK campaigns have peaked and people and businesses start thinking about life after the pandemic, other places, mostly poorer countries but some rich ones too, are lagging behind when it comes to shooting guns , and have imposed new locks and other restrictions as virus cases increase.
Globally, deaths are on the rise again, averaging 12,000 per day. The number of new cases is also increasing, exceeding 700,000 per day.
“This is not the situation we want to be in a pandemic 16 months from now, where we have proven control measures,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, a World Health Organization leader on Covid-19.