It took nine months for the virus to kill one million people, three and a half more to reach two million, another three to claim three million and about two and a half to exceed four million.

The coronavirus is responsible for more than five million confirmed deaths around the world as of Monday, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Such a loss would wipe out almost the entire population of Melbourne, Australia, or most of the nation of Singapore, the New York Times reports.

Experts say that five million is an undercount. Many countries are unable to accurately record the number of people who have died from Covid-19, like India and African nations; experts have questioned the veracity of data from other countries, like Russia.

“All of these estimates still rely on data being available, or someone going and collecting it before antibodies and local memories wane,” said Adam Kucharski, an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who mathematically analyzes infectious disease outbreaks. “Globally, there will have been numerous local tragedies going unreported.”

The real number of people lost to Covid-19 could be underestimated by “a multiple of two to 10,” said Denis Nash, an epidemiologist at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

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