US accounts for one-fourth of global COVID-19 deaths

US accounts for over one fourth of global COVID-19 deaths

Hospital workers in protective equipment are seen behind a fence as they move the body of a deceased person to a temporary morgue outside Brooklyn Hospital Center. Reuters

The United States accounts for more than one fourth of the global COVID-19 deaths and over one-third of the total number of people infected with the deadly virus, latest figures revealed on Friday.

The coronavirus pandemic that started from Wuhan City in China in November, 2019 has so far killed more than 195,000 people across the world and infected more than 27 lakh.

The United States, which has been the worst hit by coronavirus alone accounts the highest number so far; wherein more than 9.2 lakh Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 and the fatalities count on Friday stood at 51,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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In fact, the number of COVID-19 cases in the US is more than the next six countries taken together: Spain (219,764), Italy (192,994), France (159,495), Germany (154,545), United Kingdom (144,635) and Turkey (104,912).

Despite accounting for the largest number of fatalities, the death rate, however, in the US is much lower than other countries, according to Johns Hopkins University.

So far, 51,000 people have died due to COVID-19 in US, followed by Italy (25,969), Spain (22,524), France (22,245), and United Kingdom (19,506).

In the United States, New York accounts for the largest number of fatalities (17,671) with 271,890 confirmed cases.

However, the US seems to be past its peak.

“Nationwide the per cent of tests that come back positive has declined very significantly,” President Donald Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on coronavirus.

Last week, roughly 38 per cent of the tests in New York were positive; this week that number is down to 28 percent. New cases in New York are down 50 per cent compared to a week ago, and fatalities are down 40 per cent over the same period, he said.

In Louisiana, the rate of positive test result declined from 25 per cent down to 15 per cent in the last seven days alone. As many as 18 states now show a decline in a number of positive tests in the last seven days which is a very, very significant progress, Trump said.

As a result, half of all Americans live in states that have now taken steps to open their economies, Trump said, a day earlier California, Minnesota, and Tennessee announced additional plans to restart certain sectors.

“We ask every American to maintain vigilance and hygiene, social distancing, and voluntary use of face coverings. We are opening our country. It's very exciting to see,” he said.

Trump said that he spoke to Tim Cook of Apple and that they have a good sense of the market.

“He feels it's going to be a V. The V is sharply upward later on as we actually get it fully open,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Trump signed a Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act providing USD 320 billion to keep American workers on the payroll.

Of this USD 30 billion of the Paycheck Protection funds will be reserved for small financial institutions, including those that serve minority and distressed communities, extending vital relief to thousands of African American and Hispanic American small-business owners and their employees.

More than 80 million Americans have already received their payment USD 3400 for a typical family of four.

The CARES Act requires that the federal government send out a notice of what benefits Americans are receiving; to fulfil the requirement the Treasury Department is mailing a letter to him.

“It will include the amount of their economic impact payment, how it will arrive direct deposit, check or prepaid debit card as well as a message to the nation letting each American know that we are getting through this challenge together as one American family and that is what has been happening,” Trump said.

Observing that 184 countries have been hit by coronavirus, the president said that they are all watching the US.

“They are all watching, and they're calling, and they respect what we are doing so much. I spoke with the leaders of numerous countries today; they are asking if we can send them ventilators, and I am agreeing to do it," he said.

Federal government has over 10,000 ventilators and is helping Mexico, Honduras, Indonesia, France.

“We are sending (ventilators) to France, we are sending to Spain, we're sending to Italy, and we will probably be spending to Germany should they need them,” he said.

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