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An estimated 15 million people worldwide have been killed since the start of the pandemic - WHO said

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 An estimated 15 million people worldwide have been killed since the start of the pandemic by either COVID-19 or its impact on health systems, the WHO said. 

The estimate is significantly higher than the official COVID-19 death toll of 6 million, with a disproportionate number of deaths in the Americas, Europe, and Southeast Asia. It includes people who died from other causes, such as failing to get treatment because local hospitals were filled with COVID-19 patients.


The WHO's estimate is based on modeling and reported data from individual countries. However, since only about half the countries provided reports, the data is imprecise and does not distinguish between deaths from COVID-19 and deaths due to overwhelmed healthcare systems.

Meanwhile, the U.S. surpassed 1 million COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, according to data compiled by NBC News.

That count is, at least for now, at odds with data from Johns Hopkins, which lists under 997,000 U.S. deaths, and the CDC, which counts just over 993,000 confirmed deaths as of this writing.

However, estimates of excess deaths suggest that well over 1 million Americans have already died of COVID-19 and affiliated healthcare system strain.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are slightly up in the U.S. amid an ongoing increase in cases due largely to the BA.2.12.1 omicron subvariant. Currently, about 375 people are dying every day in the U.S. due to COVID-19.

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