The United States now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, according to data gathered both by Johns Hopkins University and The New York Times.
In reaching the grim milestone on Thursday, the country of 330 million people surpassed virus hotspots China and Italy.
Johns Hopkins said the US has 82,404 cases, while the Times said there were at least 81,321 people who tested positive for Covid-19.
Italy’s declared caseload stood Thursday at 80,589 and China’s at 81,285, according to an AFP tally.
American hospitals increasingly have reported being overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases and 40 percent of Americans are under lockdown orders to prevent the spread of the illness.
At least 1,178 people have died of Covid-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins, including 100 in the past day in virus hotbed New York.
While fatalities remain higher elsewhere, experts say new infection numbers show that many more Americans will die – and the true number of cases could be much higher than the official figure due to shortages of test kits.
The global death toll since the virus first emerged in December has soared past 23,000, 15,500 of them in Europe, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.
More than 523,000 declared cases have been registered in 182 countries and territories of which at least 268,191 are in Europe, the worst-hit continent.
London: health ‘tsunami’
Health officials warn of a “tsunami” of Covid-19 patients in London, Britain’s epicenter of the virus. According to an official from the state-run National Health Service there has been an “explosion of demand” in the capital.
With a call for a lockdown being little respected, according to the latest figures, more than 500 patients have died and a total of 11,000 cases have now been confirmed in Britain.
Spain second-worst hit
Spain has become the second-worst hit country in the world, after Italy, in terms of deaths, as its coronavirus toll surged above 4,000 Thursday.
The number of cases has doubled in four days, despite a general confinement decreed on March 14.
In France, where the virus is also picking up speed with 360 deaths in hospital in 24 hours, officials report that a 16-year-old girl had died, a rare case of a severe coronavirus case in the young.
Mass tests in Germany
Germany is testing up to 500,000 people a week, a virologist said, adding that early detection has been key in keeping the country’s death rate relatively low, at less than 200.
China cuts off from world
China will drastically cut its international flight routes and bar entry to returning foreigners based in the country to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The country has not reported any new domestic Covid-19 infections for two consecutive days but officials have raised concerns about the number of imported cases.
US unemployment soars
Some 3.3 million people in the US filed unemployment claims last week – the highest number ever recorded.
The US Senate unanimously approved the nation’s largest-ever rescue package, a $2 trillion lifeline to suffering Americans, depleted hospitals and an economy ravaged by the pandemic.
G20 commits $5 trillion
Leaders from the G20 most industrialized nations promised $5 trillion to stave off global economic collapse from the coronavirus, during crisis talks by video link.
International ratings agency S&P Global warned the Covid-19 pandemic will push Britain and the euro area into recession this year, with their economies expected to shrink by as much as 2%.
– AFP and Johns Hopkins University