Covid murdered almost 13 million in 24 months

(MENAFN) A newly released report by the World health Organization (WHO) sheds light on the devastating toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing that an estimated 13 million individuals lost their lives to the virus within a span of two years. Published on Friday, the report underscores the rapid escalation of Covid-19 as the leading cause of death in the Americas, underscoring its widespread impact globally.

According to the WHO study, Covid-19 swiftly rose to become the third highest cause of mortality worldwide in 2020, escalating to the second position in 2021. Remarkably, the virus ranked among the top five causes of death across all regions except Africa and the Western Pacific, indicating its pervasive reach and lethal consequences.

The report paints a grim picture of the pandemic's profound impact on global life expectancy, noting that nearly a decade of progress in improving life expectancy was wiped out in just two years. Between 2019 and 2021, global life expectancy plummeted by 1.8 years to 71.4, reverting to the same level observed in 2012. Similarly, healthy life expectancy also regressed to the 2012 level of 61.9 years in 2021.

Regions such as the Americas and Southeast Asia bore the brunt of the pandemic's devastation, experiencing significant declines in both life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. The WHO report highlights a staggering decrease of approximately 3 years in life expectancy and 2.5 years in healthy life expectancy in these regions over the same two-year period. In contrast, the Western Pacific region was relatively less affected during the initial phases of the pandemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized the fragility of progress in the face of such crises, lamenting that "in just two years, the Covid-19 pandemic erased a decade of gains in life expectancy." The emergence of Covid-19 in late 2019 marked the onset of the largest epidemic in nearly a century, with previous estimates suggesting that the actual number of Covid-related deaths could be as high as 18 million, as reported by the medical journal Lancet.



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