The number of people worldwide who have died after testing positive for coronavirus has passed 100,000.
The grim milestone was reached on the day the UK reported its highest single increase since the outbreak began, surpassing the worst 24-hour totals recorded by Spain and Italy.
Those two countries have still seen more deaths from COVID-19 than any others in Europe.
According to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking figures recorded by each government, the top five countries with the highest number of coronavirus fatalities are:
- Italy – 18,849
- US – 18,002
- Spain – 15,970
- France – 12,210
- UK – 8,958
Due to a lag between confirmed cases of the disease and those who pass away, the number of deaths is expected to continue rising significantly for some weeks to come.
Regarding the situation in the UK, where 19,304 have tested positive for COVID-19, deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the country was still in a “dangerous phase”.
“It’s still a dangerous situation, we have to keep taking measures to bring this under control,” he said.
“It’s premature to say we are at a peak and the push we are making with social distancing just has to continue.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has previously said that keeping the death count under 20,000 would be a “good result”.
The US and the UK have seen more deaths than any other countries in recent days, with the rate of increase having been slowing over the past week or so in Italy and Spain.
The countries with the most confirmed cases are:
- US – 475,749
- Spain – 157,053
- Italy – 147,577
- Germany – 119,624
- France – 118,790
Donald Trump told his latest coronavirus news briefing on Good Friday that the US was now leading the way on coronavirus testing, having carried out two million tests.
The US president told reporters at the White House that hospital admissions were going down “substantially” and suggested the country was “near the peak” of its outbreak.
While he said the number of people dying was “horrible”, Mr Trump claimed “thousands of lives” are being saved because of social distancing measures.
He said the final toll should be “substantially below” the 100,000 mark, with his scientific adviser Dr Anthony Fauci having previously indicated there could be as many as 200,000 deaths.
Most of the deaths so far – more than 5,800 – have been in New York, where mass graves have been dug for victims without any family.
New data suggests Americans who are black or hispanic are twice as likely to die from COVID-19.