The US death toll exceeds 50,000 due to COVID-19
The death toll due to the raging coronavirus pandemic in the US crossed the 50,000-mark on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The grim news comes as parts of the US reopened after weeks of lockdown that has crippled the world’s largest economy.
In the last 24 hours until Friday morning, as many as 3,176 people died from the coronavirus in the US, according to a tally compiled by the university from government figures.
It is one of the highest recorded numbers of death anywhere in the world since the pandemic began in central China’s Wuhan city last year.
Globally, the COVID-19 cases exceeded 2.7 million, with more than 192,000 dead, the university said.
The US accounted for nearly a third of the total number of cases, exceeding 869,000, and over a quarter of the fatalities with 50,031, a sombre landmark for the country.
States easing restrictions on Friday include Georgia, which is allowing non-essential businesses such as gyms, barber shops and bowling alleys to reopen, with some guidelines for social distancing, according to CNN.
Restaurants can reopen in Georgia on Monday, it said.
In Texas, the state allowed retail stores to sell to customers through curbside and delivery.
States easing restrictions starting next week, in varying degrees, include Colorado, Minnesota Montana and Tennessee. Earlier this week, South Carolina allowed some retail stores to reopen.
The rise in the death toll came just a week before May 1, when several state lockdown orders are set to expire.
President Donald Trump has favoured a phased reopening of the US economy, saying the US is very close to finding a vaccine for COVID-19.
In response to the deepening economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, the House of Representatives has passed a nearly USD 500 billion spending package to help businesses and hospitals.
America has been the worst affected country by the deadly coronavirus.
More than 95 per cent of the country’s 330 million people are under stay-at-home order as a result of the social mitigation measures, including social distancing, being enforced till May 1.
Trump on Thursday indicated that the stay-at-home order might be extended beyond May 1, but vehemently advocated the need to gradually open up the economy.
In the past few weeks, more than 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits and the figure is soon likely to cross 40 million.
Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have projected a negative growth in the US in 2020.