The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded 5,000, while confirmed cases worldwide are reaching one million.
According to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks cornavirus figures globally, there were 884 deaths in the US in the last 24 hours, a new record.
The latest victims include a six-week-old baby. More than 216,000 are now infected, the world’s highest figure.
Reserves of protective equipment and medical supplies are almost exhausted.
The Trump administration says it can acquire adequate supplies, and has $16 billion available to do so. State and local officials have complained about insufficient protective equipment such as masks and gowns as well as ventilators, needed to help keep patients breathing.
Meanwhile, VP Mike Pence warned the US appeared to be on a similar trajectory as Italy where the death toll has exceeded 13,000 – the worst in the world.
The number of confirmed infections across the US rose by more than 25,000 in one day. The worst-hit place is New York City, where nearly 47,500 people have tested positive and more than 1,300 have died.
According to officials, as many as 240,000 people could die in the US from Covid-19 – the disease caused by the new coronavirus – even with the mitigation measures in place. In Connecticut, a six-week-old baby has died from coronavirus, believed to be America’s youngest victim of the virus so far.
Queens, New York City’s second-most populous borough, has the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths. The area is home to a large population of low-income workers employed by the service sector who live in close proximity, and social-distancing guidelines are hard to enforce.
New York City needed 2.1 million surgical masks, 100,000 surgical gowns and 400 ventilators, among other items, by Sunday, said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has warned that April would be worse than March as the outbreak gathered pace. The NYC mayor said the goal was to triple the number of hospital beds, to 65,000.
Bill de Blasio tweeted: “This will be an epic process through the month of April. It’s herculean, but I believe it can be reached.”