Coronavirus: US death toll overtakes China's, according to Johns Hopkins data

University reports at least 3,400 deaths at end of March, nearly two months after beginning of American outbreak 

Alex Woodward
New York
Tuesday 31 March 2020 14:32
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How Trump has responded to coronavirus

America's death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has reached more than 3,400, eclipsing the reported number of deaths in China, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At least 3,415 people in the US have died from the virus as of 31 March, according to global Covid-19 data collected by the university.

The university's coronavirus centre reports that 3,309 people in China have died from the virus.

Last week, the overall number of confirmed cases in the US had exceeded those in hard-hit countries Italy and China, as US officials struggle with a consistent response after delayed efforts to take the mounting crisis seriously.

Nearly 175,000 cases have been reported in the US two months after the nation's first reported case was identified in Washington state, despite concerns about lack of available testing for many Americans, painting an incomplete picture about the scope of transmissions across the country.

Most of the deaths in China are concentrated in Hubei province, where outbreak epicentre Wuhan is located. The university reports that 3,187 people there have died following the outbreak, which was first reported in December 2019.

In the US, New York has emerged as a viral epicentre, with nearly 1,000 deaths reported in New York City alone.

Officials have been sceptical about the figures from China and have raised concerns about the lack of transparency there and in other countries. On Tuesday, Chinese health officials announced more than 1,500 cases involving asymptomatic people that had not been previously reported; asymptomatic patients were not included in the country's recording of the overall number of patients.

The latest figures arrive as US health workers brace for the end of the initial two-week plan from the White House to slow the spread of the virus.

Hospitals across the country are anticipating a surge in new patients and relying on federal relief for additional equipment, including potentially life-saving ventilators, as well as masks, gowns and other critically needed gear, while governors are warning about

After warnings from his top health officials, Donald Trump has abandoned a plan to "re-open" the US by mid-April.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to change its guidelines to suggest every American, not just health workers and people at risk of infection or who are infected, wear a mask in public.

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