The United States on Tuesday recorded 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, data from Johns Hopkins University has revealed.
However, the vaccination drive has drastically brought down daily cases and gives the country a renewed optimism as they look forward to summer.
The average number of COVID-19 deaths each day in the past week was 343, which is about five times higher than previous records.
As the COVID-19 continued to spread across the globe, it has mutated into more transmissible strains including the Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Delta (B.1.617.2).
Both strains are now considered “variants of concern” by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“That means there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures,” the centre stated.
Though the Alpha variant has become the dominant strain in the US, cases of the more dangerous Delta variant have been on the rise. Recent studies suggest the Delta variant which originated from India is more contagious and capable of causing severe illness than the Alpha variant.