US death toll passes record 2,000 in a single day

US death toll passes record 2,000 in a single day
Refrigerated tractor trailers serve as temporary morgues in New York City. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The United States has become the first country in the world to record more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day.

In the past 24 hours, the country has seen 2,018 deaths while there are now more than half a million confirmed infections, figures from Johns Hopkins University show.

The US could soon surpass Italy as the country with the most coronavirus deaths globally.

Experts on the White House Covid-19 task force say the outbreak is starting to level off across the US.

Dr Deborah Birx said there were good signs the outbreak was stabilising, but cautioned the outbreak has not reached the peak.

President Donald Trump also said he expects the US to see a lower death toll than the initial predictions of 100,000 deaths.

What are the latest US figures exactly?

The US death toll now reached to record 18,693 and 500,399 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins.

The New York area has seen about half of the deaths.

Italy has recorded 18,849 deaths while globally more than 100,000 people have died with the virus.

Massive burial on way in a New York state island. Source: Getty Images

Experts had predicted that the US death toll would hit its peak on Friday and then gradually start to decline, falling to around 970 people a day by 1 May – the day members of the Trump administration have floated as a possible date to start reopening the economy.

Why might the outbreak start levelling off soon?

US infectious diseases chief Dr Anthony Fauci, concurred that the US was “starting to see the levelling off and coming down” of cases and deaths.

But he added that despite the “important advance”, it is still not the time to pull back mitigation efforts such as social distancing.

Dr Birx noted that the increase rate appeared to be stabilising in hard-hit regions like New York, New Jersey and the city of Chicago.

She added that the US mortality rate was “significantly less than many of the other countries when you correct them for our population”.

But she focused that the nation had yet to see the peak of the outbreak.

“We need to continue to do what we did yesterday, and the week before, and the week before that because that’s what, in the end, is going to take us up across the peak and down the other side,” she said.

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