While the 2 million figure is horrifying, experts say the real death toll is likely much higher. Only confirmed Covid-19 deaths are included in the tally, which means that people who die without a firm diagnosis may not be included.
With testing still inadequate in many countries across the world, there might be hundreds of thousands of additional deaths.
Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, said that an analysis of excess mortality suggests that as many as one fifth of coronavirus deaths might not be recorded.
“We have found that on average, total deaths are 20% higher than reported deaths,” he told CNN in an email, adding that the ratio varies substantially across different countries.
“There are extreme cases such as Ecuador, Peru or Russia where total deaths are 300-500% higher than reported deaths… but where we have data, the average relationship is 20% higher.”
As vaccination programs start rolling out across the world, there is a glimmer of hope — even though it’s likely going to take years for everyone to be offered the shot.
In the meantime, the pandemic is getting worse. The death toll is rising faster than ever. While it took eight months for the world to record 1 million Covid-19 deaths, the second million came in less than four months.
A number of countries, including the United States, Germany, Sweden, Indonesia, Israel and Japan recorded their deadliest days of the pandemic in the past week. The number of cases globally is fast approaching 100 million.
The US has recorded by far the highest total death toll in the world, followed by Brazil, India and Mexico. But the pandemic has reached every corner of the globe, and only a few tiny, isolated nations have reported no deaths.
The virus has hit the elderly the hardest, but that doesn’t mean young people aren’t dying. Poorer people and member of ethnic minorities, immigrants and frontline workers are dying at much higher rates. But death has not spared celebrities and royalty either.
There are now 2 million deaths. 2 million stories. 2 million chairs that are left empty at the dinner table. Here are the names of a tiny fraction of those who have lost their lives: