U.S. now has most COVID-19 deaths after surpassing Italy
Updated 00:48, 12-Apr-2020

The United States has now recorded more COVID-19 deaths than any other country after surpassing Italy's tally.

Figures from the Johns Hopkins University show that the U.S. now has 18,860 COVID-19 deaths, while Italy has 18,849.

These latest figures show that despite having less than 5 percent of the world's population, the U.S. accounts for nearly 30 percent of the world's confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 17 percent deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Authorities are however confident that measures taken by the government are yielding results. Recent figures show a decrease in new COVID-19 related hospitalizations even though deaths continue to surge.

"At the same time as we're seeing the increase in deaths, we're seeing a rather dramatic decrease in the need for hospitalizations," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a White House briefing on Thursday.

"That means that what we are doing is working and therefore we need to continue to do it," he added.

The situation in the U.S. has had far-reaching consequences, as the country's economy took a hit while millions of people remain at home.

Around 6.6 million people filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, data released on Thursday show. In total, more than 16.8 million Americans have sought unemployment aid since mid-March.

President Donald Trump is however optimistic that the country will get right back on track soon.

"This week, in only 4 days, we had the biggest Stock Market increase since 1974. We have a great chance for the really big bounce when the Invisible Enemy is gone," the president wrote on Twitter.