More than 3.3 million people lost life to COVID-19 in 2021 — more than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis related deaths combined in 2020


  • The World Health Organisation (WHO), on Tuesday, revealed that more than 3.3 million people lost their lives due to COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 globally.
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, suggested two ways to tackle or end the COVID-19 outbreak — cancel your holiday plans and end inequality.
  • WHO also issued Emergency Use Listing for the ninth vaccine produced by Adar Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), on Tuesday, revealed that more than 3.3 million people lost their lives due to COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 globally, which is much more than the combined deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), malaria and tuberculosis.

According to a WHO
report released in November 2021, 6,80,000 people from all over the world died due to HIV and around 1.5 million have acquired HIV last year. Another WHO
report on malaria claims that around 4,00,000 people die every year due to malaria — a preventable and treatable disease.

Talking about the COVID-19 in a media briefing in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said, “ More than 3.3 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19 this year – more deaths than from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined in 2020. And still, COVID-19 continues to claim around 50,000 lives every week.”

Chances of reinfection are higher in this new Omicron variant. Tedros further added, “there is now consistent evidence that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant. And it is more likely that people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 could be infected or reinfected.”

He suggested two ways to tackle or end the COVID-19 outbreak — cancel your holiday plans and end inequality. “But an event cancelled is better than a life cancelled. It’s better to cancel now & celebrate later, than to celebrate now & grieve later. If we are to end the pandemic in the coming year, we must end inequity, by ensuring 70% of the population of every country is vaccinated by the middle of next year.”

Also, during the
last briefing, Tedros urged the countries to get their people vaccinated, as this is the best resort to tackle the newly emerged Omicron variant.

WHO also issued Emergency Use Listing for the ninth vaccine produced by Adar Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India. “Last week, WHO issued Emergency Use Listing for a 9th vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India under license from Novavax.

This new vaccine is part of Covavax portfolio & we hope that it’ll play an important role in achieving our global vaccination targets.”

India has so far reported 160 plus positive cases for the
new variant, with Maharashtra (54 cases) being on top of the list, followed by Delhi (54 cases) and Telangana (20 cases).

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