Coronavirus strain
Coronavirus strainiStock

The global COVID-19 death toll passed three million on Saturday, the latest grim milestone since the novel coronavirus first surfaced in central China in December of 2019, according to an AFP tally.

An average of more than 12,000 deaths were recorded globally every day in the past week, shooting the overall toll past three million on Saturday, according to the news agency.

For comparison, three million people is more than the population of Jamaica or Armenia -- and three times the death toll of the Iran-Iraq war, which raged from 1980-1988.

In addition, the AFP tally found that pandemic is showing no sign of slowing down: the 829,596 new infections reported worldwide on Friday is the highest number yet.

The daily average of 731,000 cases registered over the last week is also close to being a record.

India's capital New Delhi went into a weekend lockdown Saturday as the world's second-most populous nation recorded 234,000 new cases and 1,341 deaths. India now has three times the daily cases of the United States.

Richer countries that have waged mass inoculation efforts have seen their virus numbers plummet.

Britain, which has given 60 percent of the population at least one vaccination dose, now records around 30 deaths a day -- down from 1,200 in late January.

Thailand, meanwhile, recorded its fourth consecutive day of more than 1,000 new cases on Saturday.

In Japan, rising virus cases have stoked speculation that the Olympic Games -- postponed last year due to the pandemic -- could be cancelled.