Vastavam Web: The US logged its highest ever daily death toll from the coronavirus Wednesday as the world prepares to turn the page on a grim year defined by the pandemic, with much of the globe united in one hope for 2021: that a slew of new vaccines will stamp out Covid-19.
New Year’s Eve marks one year since the World Health Organization first mentioned a mysterious pneumonia in China later identified as Covid-19, which went on in 2020 to kill more than 1.79 million people and devastate the global economy in unprecedented ways.
In the world’s worst-hit country, the US, the numbers keep climbing: On Wednesday more than 3,900 people died of Covid-19, a new record, bringing the toll since the pandemic began to more than 19.7 million infections and 341,000 lives lost.
And experts believe the worst is yet to come, as US healthcare workers brace for a surge in cases after major holiday gatherings.
But international efforts helped develop vaccines in record time. On Wednesday Britain approved a lower-cost vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and drug firm AstraZeneca, making it the third jab to win approval in the Western world, after the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.