The total number of people infected with Covid-19 has passed another somber milestone, exceeding four million, with more than 1.3 million of those hailing from the US, Johns Hopkins University reported.
Globally, 4,004,244 people have already tested positive for coronavirus, the university reported in its latest tally update late on Saturday.
Almost every third person who has fallen ill with the virus comes from the US, where some 1,305,199 cases have been registered to date.
In terms of the number of confirmed cases, the US is followed by early hotspots of the disease in Europe – Spain and Italy – as well as the UK. Russia, where the advance of the deadly virus was delayed due to preemptive efforts to stem the outbreak, has climbed to fifth place with some 198,676 cases.
While the US continues to lead the world in the number of infections by a large margin, Washington has sought to explain the continuous surge in cases by an unprecedented amount of testing that has been supposedly carried out.
Late April, US President Donald Trump claimed that the US was breaking records, testing more people than France, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Austria, Australia, Sweden and Canada combined.
Although the US also holds the grim record for the total number of the fatalities, with the death toll from the pandemic approaching 80,000 there – the nation is only seventh in terms of Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people, with the worst-affected countries being Belgium, Spain, Italy, the UK and France.
On Friday, Trump predicted that the final US death toll from the pandemic may be around 95,000 people.
With the US adding thousands of new cases every day, there have been fears that the reopening of the economy that is already underway across several US states, may spark a new wave of infections.
At the same time, there have been growing calls for the states to allow businesses, severely crippled by lockdowns, to open their doors to customers. Despite multitrillion-dollar aid money injections into the US economy, greenlighted by Congress, the US unemployment rate has skyrocketed to nearly 15 percent, with 33.3 million Americans or every fifth US worker losing their jobs.
Frustrated by what they perceive as unjustified delays in reopening non-essential businesses, demonstrators have been taking to streets across the nation, voicing their outrage and often flouting social distancing norms while doing so. Earlier this week, scores of protesters swarmed the Massachusetts State House in Boston after Governor Charlie Baker extended the state’s lockdown by another two weeks to May 18.
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