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24 Apr, 2020 01:05

US coronavirus fatalities jump as over 3,000 die in 24 hours in 2nd deadliest Covid-19 day nationwide

US coronavirus fatalities jump as over 3,000 die in 24 hours in 2nd deadliest Covid-19 day nationwide

The US has reported over 3,100 fatalities related to the coronavirus pandemic within just 24 hours, as lethal cases leapt by more than 1,000 after a brief drop. The figures come as the nation slowly reopens.

Some 3,176 people died after having been infected with the coronavirus in the US in the space of a single day, Johns Hopkins University reported Thursday. The staggering number fell short of breaking the record for the most daily coronavirus deaths in the US – which still stands at 4,591 – but the lethal cases soared in comparison to the previous day, when “only” 1,738 fatalities were recorded.

It’s unclear what is behind the sudden spike in deaths, as more states poised to reopen some “non-essential” businesses. Georgia leads the charge with an ambitious plan by Governor Brian Kemp paving way for the reopening of barbershops, spa salons and gyms, among others, starting as early as this week.

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Several other states, including Oklahoma, Montana, Florida and Minnesota have been relaxing strict lockdown guidelines, allowing some of their businesses to open their doors to customers.

Minnesota golf courses, bait shops, marinas and outdoor shooting ranges have been open to the public since last week, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed some beaches to reopen around the same time.

Church services are set to resume in Montana from April 26, and retail businesses in the state would welcome customers after an extended Covid-19 break the next day, provided they implement physical distancing guidelines.

In Oklahoma, owners of hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and some other businesses received the green light to service customers from April 24, although by appointment only.

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The decisions aimed at resuscitating the US economy, battered by lockdowns that have seen unemployment claims reaching 26 million, have drawn both praise and criticism.

While some argue that the reopening is premature – with Trump himself “strongly disagreeing” with Kemp’s move to phase out the state lockdown – there have also been widespread protests calling for the end of the measure. In Georgia, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Virginia and elsewhere, angry residents have taken to the streets to demand the containment policies be scaled back, insisting they be allowed to return to work and resume their lives after weeks under the far-reaching quarantine measures.

Nearly 50,000 Americans have succumbed to Covid-19 since the start of the US outbreak, among more than 868,000 infections nationwide. While federal health officials continue to speak optimistically about declining cases in the country’s largest hotspots, fatalities have yet to see a similar drop, with the US continuing to report some of the world’s highest daily death counts amid the pandemic.

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