US Covid-19 death rate surpasses Spain & close to overtaking Italy

WITH more than 18,725 fatalities on Friday, the US Covid-19 death toll has surpassed that of Spain (16,081) and is now very close to overtaking Italy (18,849). The US now also has over half a million confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Worldometer statistics – almost a third of the world’s total cases.

However, the White House Covid-19 task force experts say that the coronavirus outbreak is starting to level off across the US. According to the experts, “there are good signs the outbreak is stabilising,” but warned that it hasn’t “reached the peak yet.”

On Friday, the governor of New York Andrew Cuomo said that the latest data shows that NY state, which is currently the global epicentre of the virus, is successfully “flattening the curve.” Despite 777 new deaths in New York on Thursday, the number of patients requiring intensive care treatment in hospital has gone down for the first time since the crisis began, he said. However, America’s minority communities in NY have been hardest hit by Covid-19.

Despite the positive signs, Cuomo warned that it’s “still too early to relax social distancing measures.”  The federal government projections also warns of a spike in coronavirus infections if stay at home orders are lifted too soon.

President Trump said that he was already thinking about dates when the country might reopen, but said he would defer to health experts. He added that the question of when to relax federal social distancing guidelines was “the biggest decision” he’ll ever make.

This time, however, he plans to “listen to the advice of the medical experts before acting,” he said and would “convene a new task force with business leaders next week” to think about when to act. “We hope we’re going to be able to fulfil a certain date. But we’re not doing anything until we know that this country is going to be healthy,” he stated. “We don’t want to go back and start doing it over again.”

Trump also said he expects the US to see a lower death toll than the initial prediction of 100,000 fatalities. According to government predictions, without any mitigation, such as schools closing, stay-at-home orders, remote working and social distancing, the death toll from the virus could have reached 300,000. However, if the administration lifts the 30-day stay-at-home orders, the death total is estimated to reach 200,000. Trump said that he wanted to reopen the country as soon as possible, but that “the facts are going to determine what we do,” he stated.

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Written by

Pepi Sappal

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