UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the 1 million global death toll from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) "an agonizing milestone," reported Sputnik news agency.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide has topped 1 million, with over 33 million confirmed cases and more than 23 million recoveries. The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has crossed 1 million, nine months into a crisis that has devastated the global economy, tested world leaders’ resolve, pitted science against politics, and forced multitudes to change the way they live, learn and work.

"Our world has reached an agonizing milestone: the loss of one million lives from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a mind-numbing figure. Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life. They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues. The pain has been multiplied by the savageness of this disease," Guterres said in a statement.

“It’s our brothers, our sisters. It’s people we know,” he added. “And if you don’t have that human factor right in your face, it’s very easy to make it abstract.”

"And still there is no end in sight to the spread of the virus, the loss of jobs, the disruption of education, the upheaval to our lives. We can overcome this challenge. But we must learn from the mistakes. Responsible leadership matters. Science matters. Cooperation matters - and misinformation kills," he said.

Guterres called to keep physical distance, wear face masks, and wash hands.

“It’s not just a number. It’s human beings. It’s people we love,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of medical history at the University of Michigan who has advised government officials on containing pandemics and lost his 84-year-old mother to COVID-19 in February.


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