WASHINGTON: The number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States rose by nearly 2,000 in the past 24 hours to reach 40,661 on Sunday (Apr 19), a tally from Johns Hopkins University showed.
The rise in deaths, by 1,997, is marginally above the 1,891 which Johns Hopkins data showed a day earlier for the previous 24-hour period to Saturday.
Sunday's figure came on the same day that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the epidemic in his hardest-hit state is "past the high point".
The 24-hour tally in the United States had exceeded 2,500 on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins' data showed.
Deaths from COVID-19 in the United States are by far the highest of any country, as is the total number of cases which on Sunday reached 759,086, according to the university's figures.
More than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past month as closures of businesses and schools and severe travel restrictions have hammered the economy.
Governors in US states hardest hit by the coronavirus sparred with President Donald Trump over his claims they have enough tests and should quickly reopen their economies as more protests are planned over the extension of stay-at-home orders.
The regions of Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC are still seeing increasing cases. New Jersey reported on Sunday that its new cases rose by nearly 3,900, the most in more than two weeks. Boston and Chicago are also emerging hot spots with recent surges in cases and deaths.
Several states, including Ohio, Texas and Florida, have said they aim to reopen parts of their economies, perhaps by May 1 or even sooner, but appeared to be staying cautious.