The global COVID-19 death toll has now surpassed one million following the worldwide spread of the virus.The latest coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, late last year.The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus a pandemic on March 11 as the virus continued to spread across the world.The global COVID-19 death toll has hit one million. The virus originated in China last year. Pic: WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images)Some nine months later, the Johns Hopkins University tally has now declared that one million people have died at the hands of COVID-19.It is feared, however, that the global death toll is far higher and will continue to increase.Commenting on the figures, Dr Howard Markel of the University of Michigan issued a stark reminder that there are human lives behind these numbers.The grim milestone was reached just nine months after the virus was discovered. Pic: Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesHe said: ‘It’s not just a number. It’s human beings. It’s people we love‘It’s our brothers, our sisters. It’s people we know. And if you don’t have that human factor right in your face, it’s very easy to make it abstract.’Commenting on the growing number of COVID-19 deaths, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the heartbreaking milestone ‘agonising’.The World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic in March. Pic: WANG ZHAO / AFP) (Photo by WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images)‘Our world has reached an agonizing milestone: the loss of one million lives to COVID-19,’ he lamented.‘As the hunt for a vaccine — affordable and available to all — continues, let’s honour their memory by working together to defeat this virus.‘We must never lose sight of each and every individual life.’To date, there has been a total of 1,802 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. Pic: Colin Keegan/CollinsTo date, there has been a total of 1,802 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.The majority of the global coronavirus deaths occurred in the US, where more than 205,000 people have lost their lives.Brazil, meanwhile, has reported 142,000 fatalities.