On Sunday, the world reached a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic — the death toll topped half a million. A total of 504,466 have died of the virus since it originated in China last year.
Now, a Reuters report has shed light on how deadly the disease is, revealing that one patient succumbed to it every 18 seconds, between June 1 and 27.
The United States continues to remain the worst-affected nation, both in the number of infections and the death toll. At 2,637,077 cases, the country has lost 128,437 to the virus.
The US is followed by Brazil, where 57,658 have died and infections' tally is 1,345,254.
Russia has 634,437 total infections and 9,073 deaths.
The fourth worst-hit nation India logged 16,487 deaths at 549,197 infections.
The news agency said the overall death rate has flattened in recent weeks. But from June 1 to 27, more than 4,700 people lost their lives to the respiratory illness every day.
That comes to about 196 people every hour or one death every 18 seconds.
Nearly one-quarter of the deaths came from the US, where restrictions were eased after weeks.
In merely five months (the first COVID-19 related death was reported on January 9 in China's Wuhan), coronavirus has overtaken the death toll caused by malaria annually.
The death rate averages to 78,000 per month. To give a perspective, 64,000 AIDS-related deaths happen every month, as per the data of the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, its vaccine won't be ready until early-2021, experts said.
Although half of the COVID-19 cases have been restricted to Europe and the US, the surge in infections in the Americas has worried global health experts.
The spurt in cases in Southern US areas like Texas and Florida forced authorities to re-impose some restrictions on businesses.
In the UK, local lockdown could return after the city of Leicester witnessed a sudden rise in cases.
Coronavirus has also changed the definition of cremation as families are unable to see their loved ones for the last time.
For example, in Israel, the practice of washing bodies of deceased Muslims has been done away with. Instead of clothes, bodies are being wrapped in plastic bags.
The Jewish tradition where relatives visit homes of bereaved families for seven days has also stopped.
In Italy, which was at one point the epicenter of coronavirus, Catholics are being buried without a funeral or priest's prayers.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, former military officers are digging graves for coronavirus deceased. They now know how to conduct Christian and Muslim burials, both.
Separately, when crematories of New York were overwhelmed, the officials worked through the night to burn bodies.
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