The United States on Wednesday surpassed 400,000 novel coronavirus cases, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The pandemic has now claimed the lives of at least 12,936 people in the United States, which leads the world in the number of confirmed infections with 401,116, by the Baltimore-based school's count.
The 300,000-case milestone was passed on Saturday.
The US death toll is approaching those of hard-hit Italy with more than 17,000 and Spain with more than 14,500
President Donald Trump has been widely criticized for initially downplaying the virus, which he likened to an ordinary flu and said was under control in the United States, before later accepting that it was a national emergency.
New York hits new coronavirus peak
New York recorded a new single-day high for coronavirus deaths on Wednesday but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the epidemic appeared to be stabilizing.
Cuomo said 779 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total death toll in New York state from COVID-19 to 6,268.
The previous high of 731 was set on Monday.
New York is bearing the brunt of America’s deadly coronavirus pandemic, accounting for around half the number of deaths across the country.
The governor said that despite the rise, the hospitalization rate was continuing to decrease because of social confinement orders.
“We are flattening the curve,” the governor told reporters.
He added that if the rate continues to go down the hospital system will stabilize over the next two weeks, which will “minimize” the need for temporary hospitals.
Field hospitals have been set up in Central Park, at the home of the US tennis center, in a convention center and on a US navy ship to deal with the influx of patients.
Cuomo said the death toll was high because people put on ventilators when hospitalization rates were high in previous weeks were now passing away.
On Monday, the governor extended the state-wide shutdown of schools and non-essential businesses until April 29.
He again implored residents to continue to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
“It’s not a time to get complacent. It’s not a time to do anything different than where we’ve been doing,” Cuomo said.
“We are in the midst of it. We’re not through it. It’s not over,” he added.
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