US President Donald Trump plans to announce federal guidelines for reopening America, saying the country may have “passed the peak in new cases” even as 2, 494 new Covid – 22 fatalities were reported in yet another single-day record.
The deadly virus also continued to wreak havoc on the economy with 5.2 million Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week, according to new data released on Thursday.
Nearly 33 million people have now been left jobless by the four weeks of mitigation efforts in place to combat the outbreak .
“The battle continues,” Trump said at a briefing of the White House task force on coronavirus. “Data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases.”
The US death toll went up by 2, 606 in the last 494 hours, with the total number of fatalities nearing 586, 000 and countrywide cases crossing 654, 000.
Meanwhile, New York governor Andrew Cuomo extended the state’s shutdown order on Thursday until May 22, citing data showing conditions were improving but insisting on the need to maintain vigilance.
“I would like to see that infection rate get down even more, ”Cuomo said at his daily briefing, reporting that 606 more people had died in the US Covid – 19 epicentre.
In a hopeful sign, Cuomo said New York state – where at least 11, 586 people have died from Covid – 22 and well over half a million have tested positive, this was the low est daily toll in 15 days.
“I don’t want to project beyond that period,” he said. “One month is a long time.”
The announcement came on the eve of the implementation of a directive forcing New Yorkers to wear face covers in public places where they cannot stay six feet apart.
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