US coronavirus deaths top 80,000 as states relax lockdown

Medical workers collect blood for Covid-19 testing at a drive-through facility in New York last month. (AP pic)

WASHINGTON: US coronavirus deaths topped 80,000 on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, as nearly all states have taken steps to relax lockdown measures.

Deaths in the US, the epicentre of the global pandemic, have averaged 2,000 a day since mid-April despite efforts to slow the outbreak.

The death toll is higher than any fatalities from the seasonal flu going back to 1967 and represents more US deaths than during the first eight years of the AIDS epidemic, from 1981 to 1988.

Total coronavirus cases in the US have exceeded 1.3 million with infections rising in such states as Mississippi, Minnesota and Nebraska, highlighting the risk of a new wave of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Cases are falling in New Jersey and New York at the epicentre of the pandemic in the US, accounting for nearly half of the American deaths from Covid-19, according to the Reuters tally, and the two states have among the strictest lockdown rules still in place.

Click here for our live update of the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia.