Grim numbers: US overtakes Italy with highest number of coronavirus deaths

Washington: The United States now has now overtaken Italy to have the highest death toll from coronavirus in the world.

The country has recorded a total death toll of 20,071, surpassing Italy’s death toll of 19,468.

Cases in the US topped 522,000 on Saturday.

Spain, the European country with the most reported coronavirus infections, has confirmed 510 new deaths, the lowest daily toll since March 23, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

The latest data, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, shows more than 20,000 people in the US have now died.

The grim milestone comes shortly after the US became the first nation to record more than 2,000 virus deaths in a single day.

The governor of New York Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday the state’s death toll appeared to be stabilising.

Announcing a 24-hour figure of 783 new deaths, he noted the last several days had seen around the same number.

“That is not an all-time high, and you can see that the number is somewhat stabilising but it is stabilising at a horrific rate,” Cuomo said. “These are just incredible numbers depicting incredible loss and pain.”

New York state has become the epicentre of the outbreak in the US, recording more than 180,000 of the country’s nearly 530,000 cases.

As of Saturday, every single US state has declared a disaster in response to the outbreak.

As of early Sunday, Italy had reported 19,468 coronavirus deaths while the US had 20,608, according to the Johns Hopkins tally.

There are now at least 529,951 recorded cases of Covid-19 across the US.

Dr Anthony Fauci, US infectious diseases chief, has said the country is “starting to see the levelling off and coming down” of cases and deaths but says mitigation efforts such as social distancing should not be pulled back yet.

Federal social distancing recommendations, issued by President Donald Trump, are currently in place until 30 April.

The president is facing twin pressures from the outbreak: with at least 16 million jobs lost in recent weeks as virus restrictions cripple the country’s economy.

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