UK Markets closed

US coronavirus death toll hits 600,000 as vaccination rate slows

·2-min read
People stand in line for coronavirus testing in Los Angeles (AP)
People stand in line for coronavirus testing in Los Angeles (AP)

The US coronavirus death toll has reached the grim milestone of 600,000.

It comes even as the vaccination drive brought down daily cases and fatalities, allowing the country to emerge from the gloom and look forward to summer.

The number of lives lost, as recorded by Johns Hopkins University, is greater than the population of Baltimore or Milwaukee.

It is about equal to the number of Americans who died of cancer in 2019.

Worldwide, the Covid death toll stands at about 3.8 million.

The milestone came the same day that California and New York lifted most of their remaining restrictions.

With the arrival of the vaccine in mid-December, Covid-19 deaths per day in the US have plummeted to an average of around 340, from a high of over 3,400 in mid-January.

Cases are running at about 14,000 a day on average, down from a quarter-million per day over the winter.

The real death tolls in the US and around the globe are thought to be significantly higher, with many cases overlooked or possibly concealed by some countries.

President Joe Biden acknowledged milestone as it was approaching on Monday, during his visit to Europe.

He said that while new cases and deaths are dropping dramatically in the US, "there's still too many lives being lost," and "now is not the time to let our guard down."

The most recent deaths are seen in some ways as especially tragic now that the vaccine has become available practically for the asking.

More than 50 per cent of Americans have had at least one dose of vaccine, while over 40% are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But demand for shots in the US has dropped off dramatically.

This has left many places with a surplus of doses and casting doubt on whether the country will meet Mr Biden's target of having 70 per cent of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4.

The figure stands at just under 65 per cent.

As of a week ago, the US was averaging about one million injections per day, down from a high of about 3.3 million a day on average in mid-April.

Read More

‘We are going flat out’ on vaccines, says Boris Johnson

Cornwall’s Daisy Clark plays ‘once in a lifetime’ gig for G7 leaders

Billions of cicadas descend on the United States

Why Huawei and London are ideal partners to embrace a digital future

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting