Global COVID-19 deaths hit 5 million

Worldwide deaths related to COVID-19 surpassed 5 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, with unvaccinated people particularly exposed to the dangerous Delta strain.

More than half of all global deaths reported on a seven-day average were in the United States, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and India.

While it took just over a year for the COVID-19 death toll to hit 2.5 million, the next 2.5 million deaths were recorded in just under eight months, according to a Reuters analysis.

There has been increasing focus in recent days on getting vaccines to poorer nations, where many people are yet to receive a first dose, even as their richer counterparts have begun giving booster shots.

The United States, which has been battling vaccine misinformation surpassed 700,000 deaths on Friday, the highest toll of any country.

As a region, South America has the highest death toll in the world accounting for 21% of all reported deaths, followed by North America and Eastern Europe.

However, India, one of the first countries ravaged by the Delta variant, has gone from an average of 4,000 deaths a day to less than 300 as its vaccination campaign is rolled out.

The Delta variant is now the dominant strain around the globe and has been reported in 187 out of 194 World Health Organization member countries.

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