The United States is reporting more coronavirus deaths than any country in the world, with the death toll today climbing to at least 19,882, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
The US death toll is narrowly above that of Italy, which is reporting 19,468 deaths, as per Johns Hopkins.
At least 514,415 people have tested positive for the virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University data.
Of the deaths reported yesterday, 783 occurred in New York state, bringing the statewide death toll to 8,627, Gov Andrew Cuomo said today.
That was a slight drop from the state’s all-time high in single-day fatalities, which occurred Wednesday with 799 deaths. There were 777 deaths Thursday.
“You can see that the number is somewhat stabilising, but it is stabilising at a horrific rate,” Gov. Cuomo said.
“These are just incredible numbers depicting incredible loss and pain.”
How US death toll has likely peaked
But Gov. Cuomo also shared what he called good news, saying the state’s curve “is continuing to flatten”.
“The number of hospitalisations appears to have hit an apex, and the apex appears to be a plateau,” the governor said, where numbers will level out for a period before dropping.
The hospitalisation rate is also down, Gov. Cuomo said, as are the number of intensive-care admissions.
“Still people getting infected,” he said, “still people going into the hospital, but again, a lower rate of increase”.
The US likely saw a peak in its daily death toll, according to Dr Chris Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
Dr Murray who created the model the White House is using to gauge the peak of coronavirus cases.
“We re-run the model, basically, almost every night – and the new returns from different states are suggesting different peaks in different states, but at the national level we seem to be pretty much close to the peak,” he said yesterday.
That model projects about 61,500 Americans will lose their lives to the virus by August – and that’s if the country keeps social distance measures in place until the end of May.
If they factor in states that may lift these rules by May 1, the numbers “don’t look good”, Dr Murray said.
While health experts are encouraged by signs that social distancing measures are having a positive impact, they warn re-opening the country too quickly could set the US back.
Despite the positive signs, the US had not yet reached its peak in cases, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said yesterday.
Coronavirus: what you need to know
How is coronavirus transmitted?
The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.
How can I protect myself and my family?
World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.
Good hygiene includes:
Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or your elbow;
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
Apply safe food practices; and
Stay home if you are sick.
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