Hard Numbers: US' unthinkable COVID milestone, Iran's COVAX dilemma, Ghana's contested election, Canada comes in third
3,000: The US reached another grim milestone this week when more than 3,000 people died from COVID-19 on a single day, the highest toll since the pandemic began. As cases and hospitalizations surge around the country, the New York Times found that at least one third of Americans live in areas where hospitals are facing acute intensive care bed shortages.
16.8 million: Iran has pre-ordered 16.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX global network, enough to inoculate only 10 percent of its population. However, Iranian officials say that crippling US sanctions are preventing Tehran from accessing foreign reserves and paying for the much-needed drug. At least 50,000 Iranians have died from COVID-19, though analysts say that's likely an undercount.
51.59: Ghana's current president Nana Akufo-Addo won a second term this week, scraping through with 51.59 percent of the vote. His rival John Mahama claims that the incumbent used the military to sway the election result and that he would appeal the outcome.3: Canada became the third country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine this week, after the UK and Bahrain started rolling out the drug. Canadian officials say they anticipate 249,000 doses will be on hand by year's end (two doses are needed to inoculate each person).