US records 1,480 deaths from coronavirus in 24 hours, sets a new record

Reuters Washington, Iowa, United States of America Apr 04, 2020, 07.05 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in USA Photograph:( AFP )

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According to the Johns Hopkins University's updated figures, the total number of people who have died since the start of the pandemic in the United States is now 7,406.

The United States recorded 1,480 deaths from COVID-19 between Thursday and Friday, the worst 24-hour death toll globally since the pandemic began.

The number of fatalities so far in New York state alone is comparable to the loss of life in the United States in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The figures show that a wave of lethal coronavirus infections expected to overwhelm hospitals, even in relatively affluent, urban areas like New York, has begun to crash down on the United States.

According to the Johns Hopkins University's updated figures, the total number of people who have died since the start of the pandemic in the United States is now 7,406.

In addition, two of the main US coronavirus hot spots on Friday reported their biggest jumps yet in COVID-19 deaths.

New York is in an "extraordinary race against time," Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news briefing on Friday, warning that the city desperately needs reinforcements of medical personnel, supplies and hospital beds. He renewed his call for the federal government to mobilise the US military.

The 24-hour death toll in New York state was 562 by Friday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, raising its total to 2,935 fatalities since the start of the outbreak.

Another hot spot, Louisiana, reported that the number of its deaths from COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, rose from 310 at noon on Thursday to 370 at noon on Friday. That marked the biggest 24-hour increase in fatal cases yet in the Gulf Coast state.

Louisiana's largest city, New Orleans, has emerged as one of the US focal points of a health crisis that has forced much of the country's workforce to stay at home to avoid spreading infection.

In New Orleans, where Mardi Gras celebrations in late February are believed to have spread the virus before social distancing orders were imposed, the outbreak has proven far more lethal than elsewhere in the United States, with a per-capita death rate twice that of New York City.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards called for residents to abide by rules requiring them to stay home and avoid social gatherings as the number of infections statewide surpassed 10,000.

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy ordered all flags lowered to half-staff for as long as the emergency lasts, saying his state was the first to take such a measure.

IMPACT ON ECONOMY

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Economists said actual job losses were far greater but had yet to be reflected in employment figures as much of the economy had only begun to shut down last month.

In addition, the pandemic was posing side-effects even for law enforcement.

New York State Police on Friday reported a 15 per cent increase in incidents of domestic violence in March, compared to the same month in 2019.