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Pandemic death toll

Almost 15 million deaths have been directly or indirectly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new estimate from the World Health Organization yesterday. The report measures a metric known as excess deaths—the number of deaths above what would be statistically expected under normal circumstances during a given year. 

Officials say the analysis paints a more holistic portrait of the virus’s impact, including increased overdose deaths, deaths by suicide, and more. Also accounted for is underreporting by numerous governments. For context, the current reported death toll directly attributed to the coronavirus is around 6.25 million according to Johns Hopkins University (see data), or less than half the estimated excess death total.

In the US, new cases have doubled in the past month to just over 60,000 per day, though the figure remains the lowest since last summer (see data). Daily deaths have jumped to over 550 per day, after remaining under 400 per day for the past two weeks.  

In related news, US health officials limited the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after rare, but statistically significant, blood clotting issues that led to roughly one death for every 2 million doses administered.