Global death toll from COVID-19 tops two million just over a year after the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The global death toll from COVID-19 topped two million on Friday, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University and quoted by The Associated Press.

The milestone was reached just over a year after the coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

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While the count is based on figures supplied by government agencies around the world, the real toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of inadequate testing and the many fatalities that were inaccurately attributed to other causes, especially early in the outbreak.

“Behind this terrible number are names and faces - the smile that will now only be a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday.

Guterres said that the toll “has been made worse by the absence of a global coordinated effort. Science has succeeded, but solidarity has failed,” he said.