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One million deaths: A grim milestone

waving colorful national flag of india on a gray background with text coronavirus covid-19 . concept.. COVID-19 cases in India illustration. Indian COVID-19 cases concept. Cases of COVID-19 crisis in India concept. Image credit: luzitanija / 123rf. Used to illustrate one million deaths due to the pandemic.
Image credit: luzitanija / 123rf

“How did we get here, and will it get worse?”, reads part of the headline of a Devex article by Lisa Cornish and Jenny Lei Ravelo, regarding the grim milestone the Earth has surpassed in recent days. More than one million deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported, a grim milestone in the ongoing global pandemic. 

The answer to the question of “will it get worse” seems to be: yes. The authors outline in the opening paragraph “deaths from the novel coronavirus [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or, simply, coronavirus which causes COVID-19] have reached one million globally, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects this to double by January 2021. At worst, deaths could climb to more than three million by that date.” 

Reaching one million deaths due to COVID-19 is a milestone we met on September 28th. Reaching this number follows months of hardship and anguish in many contexts – at the personal level due to bereavement, the financial level due to loss of employment, and the level of wellbeing due to the far-reaching impacts of the disease on health that we are continuing to uncover. Worse still, the worst still may be yet to come unless substantive action is taken.

“One million is a terrible number,” said Dr Mike Ryan, director of health emergencies at the World Health Organization. “And I think we need to reflect on that, before we start considering the second million. There is a lot that can be done to save lives, both in terms of disease control, existing lifesaving measures, and the innovations that are coming down the pipe. The real question is, are we prepared collectively to do what it takes to avoid that number?”

India has been hard-hit by the pandemic, being on course to become the world’s worst-affected nations in a matter of weeks according to recent projections. At the time of writing, India has confirmed 6,083,888 cases of COVID-19 and 95,626 resultant deaths. Sunday alone saw 88,600 infections with the novel coronavirus confirmed. However, the country does benefit from a high recovery rate. 82.46 percent of COVID-19 patients recover from COVID-19, according to the latest Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data accessible to Health Issues India

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