US COVID deaths exceed 500,000
Another grim milestone in the world’s richest country as encouraging signs appear elsewhere.
By mid-February, the COVID-19 virus had claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States after a devastating winter surge, but with signs suggesting that the death rate was beginning to decrease.
The Lancet COVID-19 Commission noted that the US could have averted 40 per cent of the deaths from COVID if the country’s death rates had corresponded with other developed countries.
At the same time, the number of new cases reported worldwide fell 16 per cent in a week, according to the World Health Organization. The number of new deaths reported also fell 10 per cent over the same period.
Five of the six WHO regions of the world reported a double-digit percentage decline in new cases in February, with only the Eastern Mediterranean showing a rise, of 7 per cent.
“This shows that simple public health measures work, even in the presence of variants,” WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said. “What matters now is how we respond to this trend. The fire is not out, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting it on any front, it will come roaring back.”
‘The fire is not out, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting it on any front, it will come roaring back.’
— WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus