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Global COVID-19 Deaths Top 3 Million As Vaccination Efforts Sputter

Despite new vaccines, health officials say nearly 60,000 more people may die by August 1.
Posted at 2:04 PM, Apr 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-17 16:04:00-04

The global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed three million people, as Brazil, India and France face spiking infection rates and global vaccination campaigns are lagging in many regions. 

The world has seen more than 140 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic. And though the true number is believed to be significantly higher, the official death toll is greater than the population of Chicago -- or equal to Philadelphia and Dallas combined.

Researchers predict nearly 60,000 will die of the virus by August 1 as the world faces more contagious variants as it races to vaccinate. 

On Friday, a White House senior adviser said an additional billion dollars is being spent to help the CDC track and combat new variants, which are triggering virus surges in some states.

"Right now, these variants account for nearly half of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, and we need more capacity in our public health system to identify and track these mutations," said Andy Slavitt.

One new variant - first found in Brazil - has now been confirmed in at least 22 states. The country is experiencing what one medical agency calls a "humanitarian catastrophe." Its hospitals are running dangerously low in crucial medications as well as beds for patients.

The crisis there is worsened by Brazil's slow vaccination rollout. Worldwide, health experts warn that public hesitancy over vaccinations and rollbacks on measures to curb the virus spread are undercutting efforts to bring the pandemic under control. 

In the U.S., at least 13 states are recording a 10% daily rise in cases. Michigan is still seeing overwhelmed hospitals, as officials push to increase vaccinations to bring relief.

More than 30% of U.S. adults are now fully vaccinated, with more states seeing increases in vaccinations and decreases in serious cases. New York reported its lowest number of hospitalizations since December 1, and Los Angeles' positivity rate is at 1% - the lowest since the start of the pandemic. 


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