Global Covid deaths hit 5 million as pandemic takes staggering toll

Two women walk next to graves of people who passed away due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Parque Taruma cemetery in Manaus, Brazil May 20, 2021.

Bruno Kelly | Reuters

More than 5 million people have died from Covid-19 in less than two years, as the world continues to battle the highly infectious delta strain of the virus and watches for new mutations.

There have been 5,000,425 Covid-19 related deaths recorded across the globe, according to data collected by John Hopkins University Monday. In the U.S., 745,836 people have died due to Covid-19, making it the country with the highest number of recorded deaths.

The coronavirus pandemic, which first emerged in China in late 2019, continues to take a deadly toll across the world.

It comes as many countries lift pandemic restrictions and end lockdowns that were imposed, to varying degrees, throughout 2020 in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

The rapid development of Covid vaccines, which are clinically proven to greatly reduce severe infection, hospitalization and death from the coronavirus, has helped dramatically reduce the number of people dying from Covid, particularly in Western nations where the vaccination programs are at an advanced stage.

Nonetheless, there have been increasing concerns in recent months about a rise in infections, hospitalizations and deaths as winter approaches not only among the unvaccinated, who are far more at risk of serious complications from Covid, but also among the elderly (who were among the first to be vaccinated) as vaccine immunity wanes over time.

This is a breaking news story, please check for further updates.