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Odishatv Bureau

Washington: The United States (US) has surpassed Italy as the country with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world as the fatalities as of Sunday reached 20,604, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

As of Sunday morning, Italy has reported 19,648 coronavirus deaths, placing it in the second position after the US, the data published by the university's enter for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed.

The US also accounts for the highest number of confirmed cases with 529,887. Spain, where the number of confirmed infections stands at 163,027, is a distant second, followed by Italy with 152,271 cases.

Also Read: COVID-19: US Starts Clinical Trial Of HCQ For Coronavirus Treatment

New York state, the epicentre of the pandemic in the US, has recorded the most deaths in the country, 8,627, which is followed by New Jersey and Michigan with 2,183 and 1,276, respectively, the CSSE data showed.

A total of 32,001 patients in the country have recovered, it added.

US President Donald Trump's administration, which earlier estimated that the pandemic would cause anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the US, revised its projection downward this week to 60,000, reports Efe news.

Members of the White House coronavirus task force credit the more optimistic forecast to the success of the stay-at-home orders issued by 42 of the 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, covering around 316 million people.

Trump, who has repeatedly decried the economic cost of closing schools and businesses to contain the virus, said late last month that he hoped to re-open the country by Easter Sunday.

During Friday's news briefing by the task force, Trump sought to reassure Americans that he would guided by medical experts as well as by recommendations from the "Opening Our Country Council" he plans to install next week.

"I want to get it open as soon as possible. The facts are going to determine what I do," the president said.

"I'm going to have to make a decision, and I only hope to God that it's the right decision. But I would say, without question, it's the biggest decision I've ever had to make," Trump said.

COVID-19 death toll jumps to 9,875 in UK

The death toll of those hospitalized in Britain who tested positive for the novel coronavirus reached 9,875 as of Friday afternoon, marking a daily increase of 917, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

As of Saturday morning, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Britain hit 78,991, said the department, Xinhua news agency reported.

Amid mounting pressure on the government over the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the frontline medical staff, Home Secretary Priti Patel said Saturday that she was "sorry if people feel there have been failings" over PPE supplies.

"We are in an unprecedented global pandemic. There are going to be problems," Patel said at the daily coronavirus briefing in Downing Street. The British government has published a nation-wide plan to ensure that critical PPE is delivered to those on the frontline responding to COVID-19.

The plan will provide clear guidance on who needs PPE and when they need it, ensure those who need it can get it at the right time and set out action to secure enough PPE to last through the crisis, according to a statement from the government.

A new national supply and logistics network has been created from scratch in a matter of weeks to manage supply and demand across Britain, and to make sure appropriate PPE reaches those who need it.

"We now have capacity for coronavirus tests for all key NHS (National Health Service) and social care staff across the country," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Saturday on Twitter.

Britain's coronavirus lockdown faces its most serious test this weekend as the public is urged to stay at home during the Easter bank holiday weekend to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is making "very good progress" as he continues his coronavirus recovery in hospital, Downing Street said Saturday.

Also Read: COVID-19 Could Push Half A Billion People Into Poverty: UN

The prime minister is playing games and watching classic films, and his choices of entertainment are said to include the 1987 comedy Withnail and I, and Lord of the Rings, according to Sky News.

Downing Street on Friday announced that Johnson had been able to take "short walks, between periods of rest" at St Thomas' Hospital in London. Johnson was moved to a general ward on Thursday evening after spending three days in intensive care. He was taken to the hospital on Sunday, 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

As of Sunday, the number of global coronavirus cases stood at 1,777,517, with 108,862 deaths, while 404,236 people have recovered.


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