COVID-19 deaths in US reach 800,000 as Delta ravages in 2021


Dec. 12 (Reuters) – The United States reached 800,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, as the country braces for a potential increase in infections due to time spent indoors in more weather cold and the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.

The milestone means the death toll in the United States from this virus alone now exceeds the entire population of North Dakota.

Even with vaccines widely and free of charge available, the country has lost more lives to the virus this year than in 2020 due to the more contagious Delta variant and people refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Since the start of the year, more than 450,000 people in the United States have died after contracting COVID-19, accounting for 57% of all American deaths from the disease since the start of the pandemic.

The deaths this year were mostly in unvaccinated patients, according to health experts. Deaths have increased despite advances in the management of COVID patients and new treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies.

It took 111 days for deaths in the United States to drop from 600,000 to 700,000, according to Reuters analysis. The next 100,000 deaths took just 73 days.

Other countries have lost far fewer lives per capita in the past 11 months, according to Reuters analysis.

Among the wealthiest countries in the Group of Seven (G7), the United States ranks worst in per capita deaths from COVID-19 between January 1 and November 30, according to Reuters analysis.

The death rate in the United States was more than three times that of neighboring Canada and 11 times that of Japan.

Even when the United States is compared to more wealthy countries with access to vaccines, it ranks near the bottom. Among the 38 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States ranks 30th. Only Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Colombia, Poland and Slovenia have recorded more COVID-19 deaths per capita. New Zealand had the least.

Reuters Charts

Compared to the European Union, the United States has 1.3 times the number of per capita deaths reported in the past 11 months than the bloc as a whole.

Among more than 200 nations and territories tracked by Reuters, the United States ranks 36th.

The United States has the highest number of total reported COVID-19 deaths in the world, followed by Brazil and India, according to the Reuters tally. With just 4% of the world’s population, the country accounts for about 14% of all reported deaths from COVID-19 and 19% of cases globally. The country is expected to surpass 50 million cases soon.

In the United States, new infections averaged about 120,000 per day, with Michigan contributing the most cases per day. COVID-19 patients were filling Michigan hospitals to record levels, with three in four unvaccinated, according to the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA).

Scientists are still evaluating the impact of the new Omicron variant and whether the vaccines could provide adequate protection against it.

“WE MUST ACT TOGETHER”

The Delta variant remains the dominant version of the virus in the United States.

Of the 10 states that reported the most per capita deaths in the past 11 months, eight were from the south of the country – Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Carolina and West Virginia, according to the Reuters analysis.

Reuters Charts

About 60% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, CDC data showed.

Fears over the new variant have prompted Americans to queue for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines at an all-time high. Just under a million people a day received booster doses of one of three licensed vaccines last week, the highest rate since regulators gave the green light for additional injections.

“We need to act together right now to deal with the impact of the current cases we are seeing, which are largely Delta, and prepare for the possibility of more Omicron,” said Dr Rochelle Walensky, director from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. during a White House briefing on Tuesday.

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Reporting by Roshan Abraham and Aparupa Mazumder in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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