Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 800K, Johns Hopkins reports

The confirmed global COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 800,000, according to the most recent data compiled by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

As of Aug. 22, there were more than 23 million confirmed coronavirus cases across the world. Johns Hopkins’ data indicates that the United States has more confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other country, with over 5.6 million cases and 175,588 deaths.

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Brazil is the country with the second highest death count. As of Aug. 22, the South American nation reported more than 113,358 COVID-19 deaths and more than 3.5 million confirmed cases.

Brazil surpassed the 100,000 COVID-19 confirmed deaths earlier this month, with the country still reporting daily COVID-19 death counts that are regularly above 1,000 as of mid-August, according to data from the World Health Organization.

Dozens of Indigenous people, many daubed in black paint representing their grief and fighting spirit, blocked a major highway in Brazil's Amazon on Aug. 17 to pressure the government for help in protecting them from COVID-19.

Following Brazil, the countries with the next highest confirmed number of COVID-19 deaths are Mexico with 59,610, India with 59,794, the United Kingdom with 41,509, Italy with 35,427 and France at 30,508.

On Aug. 14, the United States, Canada and Mexico agreed to extend limits on non-essential travel at their shared borders through Sept. 21 in an ongoing effort limit the spread of COVID-19.

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The ban, which does not cover trade or travel by air, was first imposed in March and has been extended several times amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases this summer in the U.S., according to Reuters.

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that India counted another record high of new coronavirus infections as it ramped up testing to more than 900,000 a day.

COVID-19 illnesses and deaths are thought to be far higher around the world due to limited testing and other factors.

India has conducted 3 million tests for the virus, but experts have urged the nation to increase its testing capacity greatly, given India has the world’s second-highest population of 1.4 billion people.

The grim COVID-19 death milestone comes as health experts call on more comprehensive testing and infrastructure to deal with an incoming flu season on top of an already devastating coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during an Aug. 14 interview that Americans could be facing “the worst fall” season due to the potentially deadly combination of the novel coronavirus, the seasonal flu, and people who aren’t abiding by necessary COVID-19 preventative measures.

A national ensemble forecast updated on Aug. 21 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted that for the week ending on Sept. 12, 3,700 to 9,600 new coronavirus deaths will be reported with an overall fatality prediction of 187,000 to 205,000 by that same date.

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Redfield stressed in the Aug. 14 interview the need for preventative measures against COVID-19, such as face masks and social distancing, at least until a vaccine arrives.

As of Aug. 22, there were eight vaccine candidates in large-scale efficacy tests and 13 in expanded safety trials, according to the New York Times’ Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker.

Kelly Taylor Hayes and the Associated Press contributed to this story.