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The COVID-19 pandemic has now killed 5 million people around the world

In this Sept. 21, 2021, file photo, visitors sit among white flags that are part of artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg's "In America: Remember," a temporary art installation to commemorate Americans who have died of COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington.
In this Sept. 21, 2021, file photo, visitors sit among white flags that are part of artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg's "In America: Remember," a temporary art installation to commemorate Americans who have died of COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington.

Global deaths from COVID-19 have now surpassed 5 million, according to the data released Monday from Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker.

The U.S. leads the world in the number of confirmed deaths from the virus with more than 745,800 people dead from COVID-19. Brazil (with more than 607,000 deaths) and India (with more than 450,000 deaths) follow the U.S. in the number of lives lost since the start of the pandemic.

Yet another tragic milestone of the pandemic comes just as the U.S. prepares to start vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11.

But in other parts of the world, health officials are seeing worrying signs of a coronavirus surge — just as some nations are relaxing measures to international travelers.

This official global tally only accounts for confirmed cases around the world, according to Amber D'Souza, professor of epidemiology at the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health, who spoke to National Geographic.

Prior to Johns Hopkins releasing the latest global data on Monday D'Souza told the outlet: "It's quite possible that the number of deaths is double what we see. But 5 million is such a staggering number on its own. No country has been able to escape it."

Europe and Southeast Asia report a surge in cases

The World Health Organization recently reported a rise in cases in Europe during October.

As of Oct. 26, the European region experienced an 18% surge in new COVID-19 cases. Southeast Asia, a region experiencing a similar rise in new COVID cases, also reported a 13% increase in new COVID-19 deaths.

Globally, as of Oct. 26, the health organization reported more than 2.9 million cases and more than 49, 000 new deaths, a 4% and 5% increase respectively.

Last month, Russian officials registered the highest death toll in Europe: more than 235,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Due to skyrocketing infections from the delta strain, officials there launched a temporary lockdown in an attempt to defeat the virus.

But there is skepticism over whether the numbers being shared in Russia are actually the official count. Some believe the numbers may be higher.

On Friday, Reuters reported that Poland's total number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic passed 3 million. Daily cases are quickly gaining pace as the country is in the middle of the fourth wave of the virus.

In Singapore, where officials have decided to coexist with the coronavirus and cease lockdown measures, a jump in cases has been reported there, too.

More than 80% of Singapore's population has been immunized against COVID-19. Yet as of Oct. 30, cases jumped to well over 3,000 cases a day in about two months.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.