The global death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic cross the grim milestone of four million on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said. After this milestone, India now accounts for more than 10% of COVID deaths globally as the toll from the pandemic in the nation now stands at 404,211.
"The world is at a perilous point in this pandemic. We have just passed the tragic milestone of four million recorded Covid-19 deaths, which likely underestimates the overall toll," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
This comes as several nations have started reopening despite the surge of variants of concerns including the Delta COVID variant, which was first identified in India last year.
The number of new cases has dropped significantly in India since June after the second wave of COVID-19 reached its peak in April-May with reporting over 300,000 daily infections. Meanwhile, the nation is still recording over 900 deaths daily, as India logged 400,000 COVID deaths last week amid ramped-up vaccinations.
Now, India accounts for over 10% of deaths from the pandemic worldwide.
Tedros Adhnaom said that nations with high vaccination rates are now "relaxing as though the pandemic is already over" while many countries across the globe are witnessing sharp spikes in cases and hospitalisation, due to COVID variants and a "shocking inequity" in global access to vaccines.
"Variants are currently winning the race against vaccines because of inequitable vaccine production & distribution, which also threatens the global economic recovery. It didn’t have to be this way and it doesn’t have to be this way going forward," the WHO chief said.
The milestone comes Indonesia has emerged as a new COVID global hotspot with death rates rising tenfold in a month to a record 1,040 on Wednesday and the United Kingdom is facing a new surge of infections.