Earth with covid-19 virus, illustration

Source: ADAM GAULT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty

The Coronavirus death toll surpassed 2 million across the globe on Friday, according to official data from Johns Hopkins research center.

A grim new milestone as the world prepares for widespread vaccine procurement to combat the spread of mutated COVID-19 variants. It took nine months to reach one million deaths internationally, and just three month to match the shocking total set from January to September. An increase of 195 percent from the 5,635 deaths reported on Oct. 1 to 10,995 deaths on New Year Day.

“Our world has reached a heart wrenching milestone ,” U.N. chief Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “Behind this staggering number are names and faces. The smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one.”

Officials gave a grave warning that even with the best vaccination efforts, 1 million+ people could continue to die from the virus every three months worldwide due to a lack of separation and enhanced safety measures. The World Health Organization believes this could be a situation with the worst still ahead of us.

“We are going into a second year of this. It could even be tougher given the transmission dynamics and some of the issues that we are seeing,” WHO’s top official Mike Ryan on Wednesday.

The U.S. death toll approached 390,000 Friday, accounting for one in every four deaths worldwide and a death being reported every 30 seconds in America.

A little over 13,800 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in the Carolinas since March. Over 1,023,000 cases have been reported during that same time, representing 6.6% of the combined general population for both states. About 9.5 times higher compared to the rest of the nation.