The global coronavirus death toll passes 1 million

Asha Bajaj
3 min readOct 4, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing with the rising death toll while economic impact continues to threaten decades of human development growth, UNDP reports said.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise worldwide as the death toll passes 1 million. Photo: UN Women/Fahad Kaizer

New York, Oct 4: The world passed a grim milestone this week as the World Health Organization announced that 1 million people have now died from the coronavirus. More than 33 million people have been infected with the virus since it began in late 2019, and those numbers expect to grow as more countries sound the alarm about second waves.

The pandemic has also taken a dramatic socio-economic toll on the world with governments pumping as much as US$11 trillion into economies to keep them afloat. Stopping the virus while protecting people from the economic devastation remains a top priority, says United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner.

“The climbing death toll is staggering, and we must work together to slow the spread of this virus,” Achim Steiner says. “The world is at a breaking point. In almost every country and territory our socio-economic impact assessments have revealed economies slowing down and contracting. The IMF forecasts a grim end of the year with 172 countries expecting negative growth. Economists predict that GDP levels will not return to pre-Covid19 levels until 2023. Those low to medium development countries will be hit the hardest, not just economically, but also socially. The people living in those countries are on the brink.”

The impact from the coronavirus pandemic has put enormous strain on world economies and for the first time in 30 years has sent human development into reverse. In 2020, as many as 100 million more people could fall into extreme poverty (UNDP), while 270 million people are in danger of acute food insecurity (World Food Programme).

Safeguards could prevent further shocks for people in low development countries who face further harm to education, health, and access to livelihoods. For example, countries can roll out a temporary basic income that would provide a social safety net against poverty while also stopping the spread of the virus.

However, safeguards are not enough, according to Steiner. Moving forward from the crisis requires a complete transformation of how…



Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women