GLOBAL COVID-19 death toll nears 2.5 million, US toll tops 500,000 | Daily News

GLOBAL COVID-19 death toll nears 2.5 million, US toll tops 500,000

Gravediggers wearing biosafety suits disinfect a rope used to bury a coffin containing  a COVID-19 victim in Mexico.
Gravediggers wearing biosafety suits disinfect a rope used to bury a coffin containing a COVID-19 victim in Mexico.

US: The United States recorded over 500,000 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, while nations globally pressed on with vaccination rollouts, including with Australia giving its first shots.

As of Monday morning, the US death toll stood at 511,133. Globally, the figure was approaching 2.5 million.

The number of global COVID-19 cases at present stands at 111,957,494 while the number of deaths recorded is 2,477,839.

The catastrophic US toll comes as some signs of hope are emerging in the world's hardest-hit country, with millions of people now vaccinated and winter's massive spike in infections dropping.

But deaths are still coming, and President Joe Biden last month warned that "well over" 600,000 people in the US could die from the virus.

"It's terrible. It is historic. We haven't seen anything even close to this for well over a hundred years, since the 1918 pandemic of influenza," Biden's Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci told NBC's "Meet The Press."

"It's something that is stunning when you look at the numbers, almost unbelievable, but it's true," Fauci added.

After America's first COVID-19 death was announced in February last year, it took about three months to pass the 100,000 mark, during a first wave that hit New York particularly hard.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 61 million people have received at least one shot of vaccine in the United States, with some 18 million getting the full two doses.

Biden has made it a priority to get 100 million people vaccinated within the first 100 days of his administration.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison got the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at a medical center in Sydney, in what the government said was a bid to boost public confidence in the vaccinations that have been subject to some anti-vaccine protests.

More than 17 million people in Britain have now received at least a first vaccine dose -- one third of the adult UK population. - AFP