Coronavirus death toll hits 4 million worldwide as Delta variant spreads

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As countries rush to vaccinate their citizens, the global death toll passed 4 million on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

The Delta variant is spreading through some countries where vaccinations lag, causing a “wave of death,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday. 

“Variants are currently winning the race against vaccines because of inequitable vaccine production and distribution,” Ghebreyesus said at his biweekly conference in Geneva. “It didn’t have to be this way and it doesn’t have to be this way going forward.”

The number of deaths is approximately the number of people killed in every battle since 1982, according to estimates from the Peace Research Institute Oslo and more than three times the number of people killed in traffic accidents around the world every year. 

Even then, it is widely believed to be an undercount because of overlooked cases or deliberate concealment.

Global death rates are currently less than half of the highest point in January, with more than 18,000 deaths a day before vaccines were readily available. 

WHO CHIEF WARNS ‘VARIANTS ARE CURRENTLY WINNING THE RACE AGAINST VACCINES’ AS DELTA SPREADS

Still, the variant has also taken hold in countries with higher vaccination rates like the U.K., Israel and the U.S., spreading among the remaining unvaccinated populations. 

FILE - In this June 25, 2021, file photo, medical staff transport a COVID-19 patient at the Honorio Delgado Hospital in Arequipa, Peru. The global death toll from COVID-19 has eclipsed 4 million as the crisis increasingly becomes a race between the vaccine and the highly contagious delta variant. (AP Photo/Guadalupe Pardo, File)

FILE – In this June 25, 2021, file photo, medical staff transport a COVID-19 patient at the Honorio Delgado Hospital in Arequipa, Peru. The global death toll from COVID-19 has eclipsed 4 million as the crisis increasingly becomes a race between the vaccine and the highly contagious delta variant. (AP Photo/Guadalupe Pardo, File)