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US Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 45,000 as Worst-Hit Country Prepares to Lift Lockdown Measures

The number of patients who have died in the US due to the coronavirus climbed to over 45,000 on Wednesday, as the country is gradually easing COVID-19 lockdowns.

More than 2,700 American deaths on Tuesday marked one of the deadliest days yet in the global health crisis, which has claimed the lives of 45,070 people in the US alone. Still the top hotspot for the deadly disease, the US has surpassed 825,100 cases, more than several of the next worst-hit nations combined.

The figures in the recent days stoked optimism that the virus outbreak could soon wind down, but the newly-released statistics threatened to dash the nascent optimism.

Concerns over the real death toll being possibly much higher than the official US government numbers have also been recently voiced in mainstream media like The Washington Post and The New York Times.

President Donald Trump stated on Tuesday that 20 US states – comprising nearly 40 percent of the country’s population – are currently getting ready to lift the restrictions introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the White House has unveiled 3-phase plan for reopening the country from lockdown, despite warnings from health officials and governors over easing of restrictions.

Governors in US states hardest hit by the novel coronavirus sparred with the American leader over his claims they have enough tests and should quickly reopen their economies.

As several states make plans for reopening their communities during the coronavirus pandemic, a group of top public health experts cautioned on Tuesday against reopening society before testing capacity expands significantly. Some officials have also warned that reopening too quickly could help the deadly disease spread further.

An overwhelming majority of Americans say that stay-at-home orders issued throughout the US in response to the coronavirus outbreak should remain in place until health experts say it is safe to reopen, according to the Reuters-Ipsos survey released on Tuesday.

The virus – and the containment measures enforced to stop it – has laid waste to the American economy, sending more than 22 million workers to unemployment offices across the country since mid-March, or about 13.5 percent of the entire US workforce.

Throughout January, as Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside his government — from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies — identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease expert, has stated that the United States would have saved lives had the country enforced firm social distancing requirements as early as February, but noted that those recommendations were met with pushback at the time.

A new study shows the US is expected to suffer the most COVID-19 deaths. The new projection by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine suggested that the US is unsurprisingly in first place. According to the IHME study, the country is poised to sustain some 81,000 coronavirus deaths by August. In the worst case scenario, the death toll might even surpass the 136,000 mark.

A new report from a government inspector general announced that the nation’s hospitals are dealing with “severe” and “widespread” shortages of needed medical supplies, hampering the ability to test and respond to the coronavirus pandemic adequately and protect medical staff.

The White House had projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the United State from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained. They suggest if no social distancing measures had been put in place across the country between 1.5 million to 2.2 million people would have died.

World Health Organization (WHO) Spokeswoman Margaret Harris said that the coronavirus pandemic has not yet reached its global peak despite showing slight slowdowns in the worst-affected European nations, it remains on the rise in other nations.

Harris warned an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus is unlikely to be available until the spring of 2021.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world has exceeded 2.5 million, with the pandemic rampaging most quickly in the United States and the death toll continuing to rise in Italy, Spain, France, the UK, and Germany.

Globally, the death toll from the coronavirus has topped 177,500, on Wednesday, with more than 2,567,000 people infected worldwide, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

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