US COVID-19 death toll hits 40,000

US COVID-19 death toll hits 40,000

USA coronavirus
Partitions are installed between beds as work is performed to turn Sleep Train Arena into a 400-bed emergency field hospital to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak, in Sacramento, California. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

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.

The spread of the coronavirus in New York
A refrigerated truck is seen outside Lenox Health Medical Pavilion during the outbreak of the coronavirus in New York City. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

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.

READ: COVID-19: Governors tell Trump it's too soon to reopen America

US protesters
Demonstrators begin to gather at a protest opposing Washington state's stay-home order to slow the coronavirus outbreak, in Olympia. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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.

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Source: Agencies/de