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US coronavirus cases cross 60,000

Thursday March 26 2020

CORONAVIRUS

A digital sign is displayed on March 25, 2020 in New York City. PHOTO | ANGELA WEISS | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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WASHINGTON

The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the United States reached 60,115 on Wednesday while 827 people had died, a tracker run by Johns Hopkins University showed.

The tracker showed 600 deaths around 24 hours earlier. The US has the third highest number of confirmed cases behind China and Italy, and the US death rate is now 1.38 per cent, based on reported cases.

The true number of infected is believed to be far higher, meaning the real death rate would be lower.

The virus has killed more than 20,000 people around the world after it was first identified in central China in late December.

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A projection shared with Congress earlier this month said that between 70 to 150 million people could eventually be infected in the US.

If the real mortality rate is one per cent, this would result in 700,000 to 1.5 million deaths.

Heart disease was the leading cause of death for Americans in 2018, the latest year for which official figures are available, with just over 650,000 deaths.

The flu and pneumonia caused around 60,000 deaths.