While the novel coronavirus has taken a backseat in the news cycle as civil unrest over the death of George Floyd spreads across the nation, the deadly virus has continued to take thousands of lives across the world, as the Associated Press reports.
On Sunday, the global death count surpassed 400,000, though experts warn that the actual death toll is higher.
An accurate number has been hard to tally for several reasons. First, many people likely die without ever being tested, and some early deaths were probably blamed on other diseases like pneumonia. Early on in the pandemic, testing was difficult to come by in some areas.
Additionally, some countries have stopped posting the number of fatalities. Brazil, for instance, removed figures from its public sites and has stopped publishing its death count after it became the country with the third-highest number of deaths due to the coronavirus.
Brazil is led only by the United States and the United Kingdom and displaces Italy from the third spot of countries with the most deaths. At last count, Brazil had more than 36,000 deaths and over 678,000 cases of COVID-19. The U.S. has lost nearly 111,000 people to the disease, with nearly 2 million confirmed cases. The United Kingdom has a death toll of more than 40,000, with 286,000 confirmed cases. Europe, overall, has recorded more than 175,000 deaths.
Worldwide, at least 6.9 million people have been infected with the disease.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro suggested that the death count in his country may be lower than the numbers suggest. However, critics argue that he may be trying to hide what is really happening in his country.
"Critics of Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly clashed with health experts over the seriousness of the disease and has threatened to take Brazil out of the World Health Organization, said the decision was a maneuver by the hardman-style leader to hide the depths of crisis," AP writes.Pope Francis called on people to continue social distancing and not get too ahead of themselves as numbers in some areas begin to decline.
"Be careful, don't cry victory, don't cry victory too soon," he said. "Follow the rules. They are rules that help us to avoid the virus getting ahead," he added.
Many parts of the U.S. have chosen to re-open despite not having "flatted the curve" of the disease. This has raised concerns among experts who say that the disease could gain another toehold and return. Other experts suggest that the recent protests against the death of George Floyd could result in additional outbreaks.