Coronavirus deaths top 1 million: The worst-hit nations as world hits 'agonising' milestone

Victoria Bell
·6 mins read

Watch: A look at the 10 countries with the most coronavirus deaths

The global coronavirus death toll has passed one million – a milestone branded “agonising” and “mind-numbing” by the UN secretary-general.

The grim milestone was reported by the Johns Hopkins University dashboard, which was developed in late January to tracks infections and deaths in real-time as the outbreak swept the globe.

“Our world has reached an agonising milestone,” said UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres in a statement.

“It’s a mind-numbing figure. Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life. They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues.”

The US has the world’s highest death toll with 205,000 COVID 19-related deaths, followed by Brazil with 142,000, India with 96,000 and Mexico with 76,000.

In terms of daily virus-related deaths, India is top of the dashboard, followed by the US, with Brazil and Mexico coming in third and fourth.

Here are the countries with the highest virus-related tolls:

The US

September 27, 2020 - Washington, DC United States: United States President Donald Trump holds a news briefing at the White House. (Chris Kleponis / Pool/Sipa USA)
President Donald Trump has been criticised for his handling of the virus. (PA)

The US death toll from the coronavirus topped 205,000 on Monday, by far the highest in the world.

It has had more than seven million cumulative coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

President Donald Trump has been criticised for his handling of the crisis, a key issue in the forthcoming election, and was accused of playing down the virus in its early stages.

His democrat opponent Joe Biden pointed out that he said at a rally in June that he wanted to slow down testing.

Trump announced in May that he was taking anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against COVID-19, however, there is no evidence the drug can fight the virus.

Brazil

Crosses and red balloons are placed in the sand on Copacabana beach in a demonstration organized by Rio de Paz to honor the victims of COVID-19, as the country heads to a milestone of 100,000 new coronavirus related deaths, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Mario Lobao)
Crosses and red balloons are placed in the sand on Copacabana beach in Brazil in a demonstration organized by Rio de Paz to honor the victims of COVID-19. (AP)

Brazil’s death toll stood at 142,058 early on Tuesday morning.

In April and May, so many Manaus residents were dying from COVID-19 that its hospitals collapsed and cemeteries could not dig graves fast enough.

The city never imposed a full lockdown. Non-essential businesses were closed but many simply ignored social distancing guidelines.

Brazil has had 4.7 million cumulative coronavirus cases.

India

 A group of daily wage workers chats among themselves as they wait to get work at Labour Chowk in Noida. Labour Chowk of Noida, a place where people come for work. They usually come in the morning at this hub. Labourers who come here are mostly mason, carpenters, painters, daily wage labourers, plumbers etc . There has been rising unemployment in India due to the nationwide lockdown due to covid-19. (Photo by Pradeep Gaur / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A group of daily wage workers chats among themselves as they wait to get work at Labour Chowk in Noida, India. (AP)

India, the world’s second most populous country after China, has had 96,318 coronavirus deaths and it is currently leading the way in new daily virus-related deaths.

On Monday, the country reported its six millionth coronavirus case as it surged closer to the US as the most-infected nation.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has urged people to wear face masks, although with a population of 1.3 billion and the world’s most densely populated cities, social distancing is not always possible.

Mexico

El trabajador de un cementerio cava una tumba en una sección del Cementerio Municipal de Valle de Chalco que se abrió a inicios de la pandemia de coronavirus para lidiar con el aumento de decesos, a las afueras de la Ciudad de México, el jueves 24 de septiembre de 2020.  (AP Foto/Rebecca Blackwell)
A cemetery worker digs a grave at the Cementerio Municipal de Valle de Chalco. (AP)

Mexico has reported 76,603 deaths, the fourth-highest in the world, however, definitive data on the country's death toll from COVID-19 won’t be available for “a couple of years”.

Testing has been sparse in Mexico, even for people with coronavirus symptoms and for those on the front line such as doctors, nurses and carers.

So the death toll is expected to be significantly higher.

“When will the final statistics on deaths from COVID-19 be ready? Certainly, a couple of years after the first year of the pandemic,” assistant health secretary Hugo López-Gatell said, adding that work would be left to the country’s statistics institute.

Mexico currently has had more than 733,000 total cases since the pandemic started.

The UK

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets shoppers and shopkeepers during a visit to his constituency in Uxbridge, west London.
Prime minister Boris Johnson meets shoppers and shopkeepers during a visit to his constituency in Uxbridge, west London, last week. (PA)

The UK is fifth on the list with 42,090 deaths, as of Tuesday morning.

England, Wales, Scotland and northern Ireland have seen an average of 3,000 cases collectively in past weeks as some believe the country is experiencing a second wave of the virus.

On Monday, government figures showed there had been a further 4,044 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus, taking the overall number of cases to 439,013.

The UK government and prime minister Boris Johnson have come in for criticism for the initial response to the coronavirus outbreak for failing to prepare in the early stages and not locking down the country sooner.

Italy

NAPLES, CAMPANIA, ITALY - 2020/09/28: Health worker collect swabs and conduct tests on passengers for coronavirus COVID-19 at the Capodichino airport in Naples. (Photo by Salvatore Laporta/KONTROLAB/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A health worker collects swabs and conduct tests on passengers for coronavirus COVID-19 at the Capodichino airport in Naples. (Kontrolab/LightRocket via Getty Images)

One of the first countries in Europe to be struck by the virus, Italy now has limited new cases compared with its neighbours.

The World Health Organization held Italy up as an example this week, praising its “clear government advice, strong public support to reduce transmission”.

Italy has had 35,851 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic started, and more than 311,000 cumulative cases.

Peru

A man talking on the phone while waiting in the line to be allowed in the provisional shelter installed in the Acho bullring. Lima's city council has arranged a makeshift shelter for homeless with capacity for 122 people where they give them a bed, food and health assistance during the Covid19 quarantine. (Photo by Miguel Angel Valero / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A man wears a mask in Lima, Peru's capital city. (AP)

Peru currently has 32,324 deaths and 808,000 cumulative cases.

Peru imposed one of the earliest lockdowns in Latin America to stop the spread of the virus and continued until the end of June.

Despite this, infections and deaths continued to rise.

Experts have said that the Peruvian healthcare system was underprepared to deal with the crisis.

France

A waiter carries chairs to close a bar terrace in Paris, Monday Sept. 28, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron justified on Monday new restrictions in the country to limit the spread of the virus as restaurant and bar owners forced to shut down expressed anger at the measures. Milder restrictions have been ordered in ten other cities including Paris, with gyms shut down, public gatherings of more than 10 people banned and bars ordered to close at 10 p.m. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A waiter carries chairs to close a bar terrace in Paris, France. (AP)

France has reported 31,744 deaths.

COVID-19 cases, infection rates and hospital admissions are continuing to rise in in France.

On Monday, public officials expressed hope a new slate of restrictive measures would keep the epidemic from reaching first-wave levels.

“We are doing everything we can to prevent a new general confinement,” even though “with this virus, we are ruling nothing out,” environment minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday.

Spain

Medical residents sit in the middle of an avenue as they take part in a protest against their working conditions during a strike in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Medical residents sit in the middle of an avenue as they take part in a protest against their working conditions during a strike in Barcelona, Spain. (AP)

Spain is also in the midst of experiencing a second wave of the virus.

COVID-19 has already claimed more than 31,000 lives among more than 700,000 cases nationwide, the highest infection rate in the EU.

Madrid, the capital city, went into a partial lockdown on Monday to try and curb the spread.

Iran

People wearing protective face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus walk on a sidewalk in downtown Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Iran's president dismissed U.S. efforts to restore all U.N. sanctions on the country as mounting economic pressure from Washington pushed the local currency down to its lowest level ever on Sunday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
People wearing protective face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus walk in downtown Tehran, Iran. (AP)

The official tally shows Iran recorded 25,779 deaths so far, as of Tuesday.

Iran recorded its first coronavirus cases in February in Tehran and implemented quarantine measures in March and April.

On Friday, the number of daily infections rose above 3,500 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The current number of cases in Iran stands at 446,448.

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