Covid-19: US coronavirus death toll now 600, almost 50,000 confirmed cases

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Washington - The death rate based on reported cases is now 1.2 percent


Published: Tue 24 Mar 2020, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 Mar 2020, 11:22 PM

Six hundred people have died from the new coronavirus in the United States, while the number of confirmed cases now stands at 49,768, a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University showed Tuesday.

The US has the third-highest number of confirmed cases globally, behind China and Italy. The death rate based on reported cases is now 1.2 percent - but the actual number believed to be infected is far higher, which would bring the rate down.

Social distancing and quarantine measures have been instituted across much of the United States, bringing the world's biggest economy to an abrupt halt.

President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that he wants the US lockdown relaxed by mid-April, warning that keeping the measures in place could "destroy" the country.

But many public health experts have warned that lifting the measures too soon could lead to a surge in cases and hospitals being overwhelmed, amid a dire shortage of ventilators and protective gear for health care workers.

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