Covid-19 cases in US shoot past Italy and China

Published on Mar 28, 2020 03:24 AM IST

Total confirmed cases stood at 86,012 in the US on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Fatalities are much higher in Italy, Spain and China. But a study projects 81,000 Americans could perish in the outbreak, which, it added, was unlikely to subside before June

Few cars head along FDR Drive next to the Manhattan skyline amid the escalating coronavirus outbreak in New York.(AP Photo)
Few cars head along FDR Drive next to the Manhattan skyline amid the escalating coronavirus outbreak in New York.(AP Photo)
Hindustan Times, Washington/Toronto | ByHT Correspondents

The US now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, overtaking China and Italy, as the state of Louisiana witnessed a massive surge in infections and fatalities.

The US House later on Friday passed a $2 trillion economic relief package for shielding American families and businesses from financial havoc caused by the outbreak.

The coronavirus has infected more than 560,000 people worldwide, killing at least 25,400. The US now accounts for more than 15% of all the cases.

Total confirmed cases stood at 86,012 in the country on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Fatalities are much higher in Italy, Spain and China. But a study projects 81,000 Americans could perish in the outbreak, which, it added, was unlikely to subside before June. The study was published by experts from the University of Washington School of Medicine.

In China, the national health commission on Friday reported 55 new cases, including 54 it said were imported infections.

In the US, experts said cases will keep growing in the US, partly due to aggressive testing.

New York could see a peak in the demand for hospital capacity in three weeks and is planning to build eight temporary hospitals to meet the surge, governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Cuomo said 44,635 people have tested positive in New York, up by about 7,400 from Thursday, and that 519 New Yorkers have died from the virus, up from the previous day’s total of 385 deaths.

“We are battling a deadly virus,” Cuomo said. “It’s the worst news but it’s not unexpected news either.”

The other American states hit hard by Covid-19 are Louisiana, California, Washington and New Jersey. Louisiana has emerged as a new worry, reporting a massive jump in cases - by 510 over Wednesday to a total of 2,300 - and by 83 deaths. Nearly half of them were reported in New Orleans.

The Canadian government, meanwhile, said it was “strongly opposed” to a US proposal to deploy troops along the international border as it could damage the traditional ties between the two countries.

The White House had pitched the idea in a bid to prevent illegal border crossings into the US amid the coronavirus crisis.

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