The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus reached a grim milestone Wednesday, surging to 2,000,984, while the number of deaths from the highly contagious respiratory disease reached 128,071.
The U.S. has the most cases, 609,696, or about 30% of the total, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Deaths in the U.S. have risen to 26,164, also the most in the world. The U.S. total is about 20% of the worldwide total.
New York City, a world epicenter of the outbreak, reported an additional 3,700 victims on Tuesday. The surge accounts for victims who were presumed to have died of covid-19 but who hadn’t tested positive for the virus. That drove the city's number of coronavirus deaths to roughly 10,367.
New York City’s per-capita death toll from the virus now outstrips Italy, with its total number of deaths only slightly behind that of the U.K., the Guardian reported.
Last week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the official death toll was probably too low as many people who died at home or in nursing homes weren’t included.
The mayor said he’s hopeful New York will be back to “more like normal” by September.
A number of governors have agreed to cooperate regionally on restoring the economy post-coronavirus.
The governors of Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have created a joint council of political, health and economic experts.
The council will aim to “gradually lift the states' stay-at-home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus,” a statement said.
Similarly, California, Oregon and Washington announced a plan to coordinate reopening their economies while controlling covid-19.
President Donald Trump said the U.S. temporarily would suspend funding to the World Health Organization because of what he claimed was the group’s mismanagement of the coronavirus response.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has put together plans to partly lift restrictions. But the EC warned that some will remain until a vaccine or cure is found. Germany is set to extend curbs even after new cases fell for a sixth day.
The outbreak, which began in Wuhan, China, late last year, has spread worldwide and crippled the global economy as companies shut or severely limit operations due to quarantines and social distancing.
A report released Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund said the so-called Great Lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic could result in the greatest recession since the Great Depression.