Nearly 2,000 people infected with the new coronavirus have died in the United States in the last 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:30 pm Tuesday (0030 GMT Wednesday).
The record daily figure of 1,939 brings the total number of deaths in the United States to 12,722, which is approaching tolls in the worst-hit countries so far - Italy with 17,127 dead and Spain with 13,798.
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New York state reported 731 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, its biggest jump since the start of the outbreak, dampening some of the cautious optimism officials have expressed about efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
The state’s death toll grew to 5,489.
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The alarming surge in deaths comes as new hospital admissions have dropped on average over several days, a possible harbinger of the outbreak finally leveling off.