Washington: The US has become the first country in the world to register more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day, sparking fears that it may soon overtake Italy in the unpleasant spot as the nation with the highest number of COVID-19 fatalities.
According to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University, 2,108 people lost their lives to the virus in the US in the 24 hours from Thursday night, reports Efe news.
While the US recorded 1,878, 1,936 and 1,879 deaths over the previous three days, the total number of fatalities in the US has now jumped to 18,769, closing the gap with Italy.
The European country has recorded 18,849 deaths and remains the worst affected nation by the pandemic. Most of the deaths recorded since Thursday night is from three states in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Michigan.
Some 777 people lost their lives in New York while the neighbouring state of New Jersey witnessed 232 fatalities. In Michigan, 205 died due to the infection.
The total number of confirmed infections in the US also exceeded half a million. The country has confirmed 501,419 coronavirus patients, according to Johns Hopkins University. Some 29,078 patients have recovered.
The US remains the focus of the pandemic and leads the number of infections in the world ahead of Spain with 158,273 cases and 16,081 fatalities.
Italy has a total of 147,577 infected patients and 18,849 deaths. France has 125,931 cases and 13,215 fatalities, according to the university.
According to the Johns Hopkins University tally, the global death toll from the virus increased to 102,764 on Saturday morning, while there number of infected worldwide stood at 1,698,416.
Within the US, the most affected city remains New York. The city woke up on Friday to the shocking images of mass graves on the island of Hart, northeast of the Bronx neighbourhood.
The authorities have decided to make this type of burial temporarily until family members claim the bodies for private burials in the future.
Earlier this week, the New York City Council announced that it was considering such measures amid a spike in daily deaths and the collapse of funeral homes and cemeteries.
Many hospitals have refrigerated trucks on their back doors that serve as mobile morgues.
At the federal level, the White House had earlier estimated that the coronavirus could cause 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. However, this week it reduced the projection to 60,000.
In total, 42 of the country's 50 states, in addition to Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, have ordered their residents to stay home, which means that approximately 95 per cent of the US population (about 316 million people) were being held indoors.
The total number of global coronavirus deaths has increased to 102,753, while the total number of cases worldwide has surpassed 1.6 million, according to the latest update by the Washington-based Johns Hopkins University.
As of Saturday morning, the overall number of infections increased to 1,698,416, while the tally of those who recovered from the deadly disease stood at 376,677, according to the varsity's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).
In terms of cases, the US had the highest in the world at 501,301, followed by Spain 158,273, Italy 147,577 and France 125,931.
Italy accounted for the highest death toll at 18,849, with the US in the second place with 18,769 fatalities.
Other countries with more than 10,000 deaths include Spain (16,081) and France (13,197).
Although the pandemic originated in China last December, it now only accounts for 3,343 deaths with 83,003 confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended the country's national coronavirus lockdown by "at least" additional 20 days to May 3.
The prime minister's announcement on Friday came about one month after the first decree went into force. Since then, Conte has periodically strengthened the terms of the lockdown and extended its length, Xinhua news agency reported.
Before this extension, the measures were scheduled to be lifted on Monday, though reports began circulating on Thursday that it would be extended into May after Conte held a conference call with trade union leaders.
Italy was the first country in Europe to issue a national lockdown as a way to curb the spread of the virus.
The extension means that residents in Italy will not be able to leave their homes except for "vital" reasons, such as food shopping or medical visits, in an extra 20 days.
Italy remains one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 19,000 deaths and nearly 150,000 infections.