COVID-19 death toll exceeds 150,000 in pandemic-hit United States
The US is the worst-affected country in the world from the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of fatalities, as it crossed the grim mark of 150,000 deaths due to the virus on Wednesday.
Brazil is second to the US in terms of cases and fatalities, and also reported a sobering figure as it surpassed 90,000 deaths.
Nations around the globe, even those that believed they had largely curbed the disease, are seeing a rise in cases that are damaging economies and forcing protection measures that have disrupted all aspects of life.
Sacred Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has begun with some 10,000 Muslim faithful allowed, instead of the roughly 2.5 million that attended last year.
Pilgrims were brought in small batches into Makkah’s Grand Mosque, walking along paths marked on the floor, in sharp contrast to the normal sea of humanity that swirls inside its walls.
Even with efforts in place to contain the virus, COVID-19 has killed more than 661,000 people around the world and total infections are approaching 17 million.