US marks record 2,108 coronavirus deaths in one day, more than 500,000 cases so far

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The United States on Friday become the first country to record more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths in one day, with 2,108 fatalities in the past 24 hours, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally, while also recording more than 500,000 coronavirus cases since the outbreak began.

The US has now recorded 18,586 deaths and is closing in on the toll of 18,849 dead in Italy, which has seen the most fatalities so far in the global pandemic.

America is also approaching half a million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 496,535 as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Saturday), an increase of 35,098 in the past 24 hours.

New York COVID-19-related deaths jumped yet again by more than 700 in a day, while hospitals battling the outbreak reported encouraging news.

On the economic front, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said testing would have to be ramped up dramatically to put New York back in business and the state tried to improve its overwhelmed unemployment insurance website.

More than 100,000 people have died worldwide from the coronavirus, with nearly 70 percent of all fatalities in Europe, according to an AFP tally Friday compiled from official sources.

A total of 100,661 people have been killed, including 70,245 in Europe, since the virus first emerged in China in December.

Italy has the highest number of deaths with 18,849, followed by the United States with 17,925 and 15,843 in Spain.

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