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The global coronavirus death toll topped 800,000 on Saturday, as countries around the world urge citizens to follow precautionary measures.
According to data compiled by John Hopkins University, the United States is still the country with the most virus-related deaths, having tallied more than 176,000 fatalities as of this weekend. Brazil and Mexico trail the U.S. in recorded deaths with 114,250 and 59,610, respectively. Reuters calculates, on average, about 5,900 people are dying from the disease every 24 hours; that’s approximate 246 deaths per hour, or one death every 15 seconds.
These unsettling figures were reported just a day after the World Health Organization said it was hopeful that the pandemic would end sometime within the next couple of years, as researchers appear to be making progress in developing a vaccine.
“We have a disadvantage of globalization, closeness, connectedness, but an advantage of better technology, so we hope to finish this pandemic before less than two years,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Friday conference in Geneva. “Utilizing the available tools to the maximum and hoping that we can have additional tools like vaccines, I think we can finish it in a shorter time than the 1918 flu.”
As of Saturday, at least 23,130,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus; more than 5,666,000 of those confirmed cases are from the U.S.
While accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, former vice president Joe Biden slammed Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, claiming he could’ve done more to protect American lives.
“Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation. He’s failed to protect us. He’s failed to protect America,” Biden said on the fourth and final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. “… The choice could not be more clear. No rhetoric is needed. Just judge this president on the facts. Five million Americans infected by COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. The tragedy of where we are today is it didn’t have to be this bad. Just look around. It’s not this bad in Canada or Europe or Japan or almost anywhere else in the world.”