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US reports nearly 1,800 coronavirus fatalities in 24 hours, as death rate slows after 2 days of back-to-back records

US reports nearly 1,800 coronavirus fatalities in 24 hours, as death rate slows after 2 days of back-to-back records
Nearly 1,800 people died in the US after contracting coronavirus on Thursday, a tally by Johns Hopkins University indicates. The overall US death toll stands at just over 16,500 as it continues to lead the world in cases.

The US, which according to various projections is nearing the peak of its outbreak, registered 1,783 deaths from the virus in a single day, according to data aggregated by the university.

While some models – such as one provided by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) – forecast that the US should still expect the peak to come later this week, the new number is slightly lower than nearly 2,000 lethal cases reported in the two past days each.

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So far, the highest number of single-day Covid-19 fatalities was reported on Wednesday, when 1,973 people succumbed to the disease.

Still, the newly-revised projections show that as many as 60,000 coronavirus-afflicted patients could die by August in the US – even assuming that Americans continue to abide by strict social distancing guidelines set by federal agencies.

With 462,135 confirmed infections, the US accounts for nearly one-third of all cases of the disease worldwide. However, there have been reassuring signs that the spread of the virus on US soil is beginning to slow.

The rate of hospitalizations in New York, the hardest-hit US state, as well as in California, has slowed. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that the number of new hospitalizations sank to a three-week low. However, the state remains severely crippled by the pandemic, with Thursday marking the biggest single-day increase in deaths in New York with the number of confirmed cases there crossing the 160,000 milestone. Covid-19 deaths in New York account for nearly half of the total US fatalities from the disease, which are closing in on 17,000.

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On Wednesday, Cuomo ordered flags to fly at half-mast to honor those who lost their battle with the virus.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, while also noting the drop in new hospitalizations, warned that although the trend was “encouraging,” one should not “read too much” into the data.

On a global scale, the number of confirmed cases has topped 1.6 million, with the death toll creeping closer to the 100,000 benchmark.

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