Coronavirus: US records highest death toll in single day

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A hospital worker in New YorkImage source, Getty Images
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The US has the highest number of recorded coronavirus cases in the world

The US recorded the most coronavirus deaths in a single day with more than 1,800 fatalities reported on Tuesday.

It brings the total number of deaths in the country to nearly 13,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US has more than 402,000 confirmed cases, the highest number in the world. Global cases have exceeded 1.4 million.

However during a news conference President Donald Trump said the US might be getting to the top of the "curve".

Meanwhile the city of Wuhan in China, where the infection first emerged, ended its 11-week lockdown.

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Learn how Wuhan dealt with the lockdown

The new figures announced on Tuesday are up on the previous record of 1,344 which was recorded on 4 April.

But a revised forecast released on Wednesday by the University of Washington has predicted a lower total death count in the US, estimating that around 60,000 Americans could die from Covid-19.

The family of American singer-songwriter John Prine has confirmed his death from complications related to coronavirus.

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Many musicians have paid tribute to John Prine who died on Tuesday from complications related to coronavirus

Known for songs such as Angel from Montgomery and Sam Stone, Prine died in Nashville on Tuesday at the age of 73. His wife tested positive for coronavirus and recovered however Prine was hospitalised last month with symptoms and placed on a ventilator.

A number of musicians including Bruce Springsteen and Margo Price have paid tribute to him.

How hard has New York been hit?

A large proportion of the deaths announced were from New York state. Widely considered the epicentre of the outbreak, it recorded 779 deaths on Tuesday. New York City has seen over 4,000 deaths thus far.

It is on the cusp of overtaking the entire country of Italy with its number of confirmed cases.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state appeared to be nearing the peak of its pandemic. Hospital and intensive care admissions were down.

"If we stop what we are doing you will see that curve change," the governor cautioned. "That curve is purely a function of what we do day in and day out."

Media caption,

How caravans are helping frontline medics with a place to stay

The governor urged people to stay inside and continue with social distancing.

"I know it's hard but we have to keep doing it," he said.

New Yorkers have been told to avoid large gatherings as Passover and Easter approaches.

Mr Cuomo also announced that New York would allow residents to vote in the June Democratic primary election by mail, saying: "New Yorkers shouldn't have to choose between their health and their civic duty."

Elsewhere, the state of Wisconsin pressed ahead with an election on Tuesday, despite a state-wide stay-at-home order amid the escalating outbreak.

What did Trump say about the WHO?

During a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Trump said he was reluctant to discuss further but the US might be on track for fewer deaths than projected.

It was thought that as many as 240,000 people in the US could die in the pandemic, according to the president's task force.

He also said the US might be getting to the top of the "curve" of the outbreak.

Image source, Getty Images
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Mr Trump said the US could see fewer deaths than predicted

During the briefing, he also attacked the World Health Organization (WHO), saying it had issued bad advice and had been too focused on China.

"The WHO really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric," he said.

He also said the US would be withholding money meant for the WHO.

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressed Mr Trump's comments through a spokesman on Wednesday.

"The World Health Organization must be supported as it is absolutely critical to the world's efforts to win the war against Covid-19," the spokesman said.

"Once we finally turn the page on this epidemic must be a time to look back fully to understand to understand how such a disease emerged and spread its devastation so quickly across the globe, and how all those involved reacted to the crisis…Now is not that time."

What's happening elsewhere in the world?

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spent his second night in the intensive care unit in hospital
  • Mauro Ferrari, the head of the European Research Council and the EU's top scientist, has resigned citing Brussels' "disappointing" response to the pandemic, the Financial Times reports
  • Coronavirus cases reported in China rose to 62, double Tuesday's total. Asymptomatic cases rose to 137
  • Japan has woken up to its first day under a month-long state of emergency
  • Australia's parliament is set to meet to pass a A$130bn (£65bn; $80bn) wage support package, designed to accommodate about half of Australia's usual workforce
  • France's death toll passed 10,000 after a rise in the number of fatalities at nursing homes