New virus cases nearing 1 million in US with 1,303 new deaths recorded

Medical workers unload a patient from an ambulance outside a hospital in New York on April 13. (AP pic)

WASHINGTON: The US recorded 1,303 more novel coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, according to figures reported late Monday by the Johns Hopkins University, with confirmed US cases nearing one million.

The country now has an overall death toll of 56,144, with 987,022 infections, according to a tally by the Baltimore-based institution at 8.30pm.

At least 111,109 people have recovered from the virus.

The 24-hour toll on Monday was in line with Sunday’s, but a sharp drop on Saturday’s figure of 2,494.

More states began lifting coronavirus lockdown orders on Monday but officials said New York – America’s economic engine and coronavirus epicentre – was in no hurry with hospitalisation rates still high.

As Colorado, Minnesota, Mississippi and Tennessee were among the latest states to loosen restrictions, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was preparing to lengthen confinement measures for badly-hit areas.

New York is America’s worst-hit state, with more than 17,300 Covid-19 deaths out of almost 292,000 confirmed infections.

President Donald Trump said he expected to see many US schools reopen before the end of the school year.

“Even if it’s for a very short period of time, I think it would be a good thing,” he told reporters.

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