The death toll from Covid-19 reached half a million people on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, a grim milestone for the global pandemic that seems to be resurgent in some countries even as other regions are still grappling with the first wave.
The new coronavirus which causes respiratory illness has been particularly dangerous for the elderly, although other adults and children are also among the 500,000 fatalities and more than 10 million reported cases.
While the overall rate of death has flattened in recent weeks, health experts have expressed concerns about the record numbers of new cases in countries like the United States, India, and Brazil, as well as new outbreaks in other parts of Asia.
More than 4,700 people are dying every 24 hours due to COVID-19, according to Reuters calculations. That equals to 196 people per hour, or one person every 18 seconds.
The United States has over about one-quarter of all the deaths so far. The number of cases in Latin America on Sunday surpassed the diagnosed in Europe, making the region the second most affected by the pandemic, after North America.
The first recorded death from the new virus was in Jan, a 61-year-old man from the Chinese city of Wuhan a shopper at a wet market that has been identified as the source of the outbreak.
In just five months, the Covid-19 death toll has overtaken the number of people who die annually from malaria, which is one of the most deadly infectious diseases.
Some European countries with older populations have reported higher fatality rates. An April report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control looked at more than 300,000 cases in 20 countries and found that about 46% of all fatalities were over the age of 80.
In Indonesia, hundreds of children are believed to have died, development health officials have attributed to malnutrition, anemia, and inadequate child health facilities.
The official data likely does not tell the full story, Health experts caution that with many believing that both cases and deaths have likely been underreported in some countries.
(With inputs from timesofindia)