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Global COVID death toll tops 4 million

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 4 million on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University data shows.

What they're saying: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned at a news conference in Geneva that the world "is at a perilous point" of the pandemic. "We have just passed the tragic milestone of 4 million recorded COVID-19 deaths, which likely underestimates the overall toll," he said.

Driving the news: Some countries with high vaccination coverage are "relaxing as though the pandemic is already over" by easing health measures, Tedros said.

  • He also noted "shocking inequity" in vaccine rollouts, with richer countries hoarding does.
  • "This is leading to an acute shortage of oxygen, treatments and driving a wave of death in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America," Tedros said.

Go deeper: 2021 already has a higher global coronavirus death toll than 2020

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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