Leaders of the world's 20 leading economies pose for a group photo in front of the Trevi Fountain during the Group of 20 Summit in Rome on Saturday. On Friday, they issued a joint statement expressing deep concern about the world's response to COVID-19. Photo courtesy of G20/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Deaths worldwide from COVID-19 passed 5 million on Monday, with the United States leading all nations in fatalities.
The United States, which began recording deaths from coronavirus in early 2020, had reported 745,836 deaths as of Monday, according to the tracker from Johns Hopkins University. That figure surpasses the U.S. death toll from the "Spanish flu" of 1918-19 in which about 675,000 Americans died.
Nations with the next-highest fatality rates from COVID-19 are Brazil (607,824), India (458,437), Mexico (288,365), Russia (235,318) and Peru (200,246).
More than 6 billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered worldwide, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
Our World In Data, an organization that is tracking vaccine administration, reported that while nearly half the world population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, just 3.6 percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
At the Group of 20 meeting in Rome on Friday, leaders issued a joint statement that expressed deep concern about the pandemic.
"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have profound impacts worldwide," the statement said. "The severe mortality, morbidity and hospitalization of affected patients have clearly revealed weaknesses in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR), health systems and services, information, and education."
The statement also raised concerns about the pandemic's toll on the global economy.
"Economic recovery remains highly divergent across and within countries, more severely affecting emerging and developing economies, and populations in situations of vulnerability, including poorer households, women and girls, persons with disabilities, elderly, and children. The pandemic has exposed significant shortcomings in the world's ability to coordinate the global health response," G20 leaders said.
Meanwhile, there continues to be resistance in many parts of the world to getting the vaccine resulting in legal battles and workplace disputes over mandated vaccinations.
As one example, a vaccine mandate took effect in New York City on Monday that required all city employees to be vaccinated. But there were still a significant number of police officers, firefighters and sanitation workers who remained unvaccinated. That has caused deep concern among officials regarding insufficient first responders available during emergencies.