• News

Covid-19: Four million death toll must spur governments and companies into action

Reacting to the news that four million people have now died globally from Covid-19 according to Johns Hopkins University, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard, said:

“At least four million lives have now been lost to Covid-19. This devastating milestone must spur richer governments and companies into immediate action. How many more millions must die before the knowledge and technology to produce enough vaccines for everyone are made universally available?

“Yet, because vast swathes of the world have little or no access to vaccines, one person is still dying from Covid-19 every 11 seconds – mostly in lower-income countries. Equal access to vaccines shouldn’t be based on where you live, it’s a basic human right.

“With many rich countries moving towards the lifting of restrictions, the deadly impact of Covid-19 is still rife. The death toll continues unabated in Latin America, while India and Nepal have faced deadly surges, and health systems in Indonesia and Southern Africa are at risk of being overwhelmed.

“Many of these countries are still facing acute vaccine shortages which can only be resolved by both urgently sharing doses and removing the barriers preventing the scale up of global production.

“World leaders must further support moves to lift intellectual property restrictions on life-saving products and push pharmaceutical companies to share their knowledge and technology. This is a global issue that requires urgent global action now. No one is safe, until everyone is safe.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

As of 6 July 2021, 33 countries had provided at least one vaccine dose to over half of their population, according to figures published by Our World In Data. All but three (Mongolia, Maldives and Bhutan) are high income countries. (The analysis excludes countries and territories with populations of lower than 200,000 people.)

Compared to the week of 11 January 2021, when world deaths passed 2 million, the numbers of people dying each week in these countries reduced from 51,614 to 4,015 – a reduction of 92% - according to figures collated from the World Health Organization.

Globally, 53,861 are reported to have died of COVID-19 during the week of 28 June, 1 person every 11 seconds. 

The ten countries with the highest number of deaths over the last week are Brazil, India, Colombia, Russia, Argentina, Indonesia, USA, Peru, Mexico and South Africa.

85 percent of vaccine doses have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.3 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries, according to the New York Times vaccine tracker.