Tombstones at Green-Wood Cemetery stand in front of the Lower Manhattan skyline during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Brooklyn borough of New York, United States, Dec. 14, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

Worldwide coronavirus deaths top 2.5 million: AFP count

Covid-19 has killed more than 2.5 million people worldwide since the pandemic began in December 2019, according to an AFP count based on official figures at 1730 GMT Thursday.

In total, 2,500,172 deaths and 112,618,488 cases have been reported.

With 842,894 deaths, Europe is the hardest-hit region, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (667,972 deaths) and the US and Canada (528,039). 

Almost half of the fatalities have occurred in just five countries: the US (506,232), Brazil (249,957), Mexico (182,815), India (156,705) and Britain (122,070).

These figures are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.

The world passed one million reported coronavirus deaths on September 28, a little over nine months after the first death was recorded in China in January 2020.

It took just four more months, until January 15, to reach two million deaths.

But the pace of deaths has slowed since late January this year, with 66,800 last week or an average of 9,500 per day — well below the deadliest week of January 20 to 26, when 101,400 deaths or 14,500 per day were registered.

The present daily figure is similar to that seen in early November.

Over the past week, more than one-third of global deaths have come in Europe’s 52 countries and territories, although the figure has fallen 14 percent compared with the previous week, to around 3,400 per day.

Other continents have also seen falling death rates, with the US and Canada dropping 23 percent, to 2,150 per day, falling faster than Europe and Africa, which shed 13 percent to 378 per day.

Latin America and the Caribbean’s rate fell seven percent, to 2,720 daily deaths.

In proportion to population, Belgium is the country that has suffered the most deaths at 1,900 per million, followed by the Czech Republic at 1,850, Slovenia (1,830), Britain (1,790) and Italy (1,600).