Record surge in US coronavirus death toll

There were 884 deaths in the US linked to coronavirus in the past 24 hours – a new record, Johns Hopkins University said on Wednesday evening.

Among the victims was a six-week-old baby. More than 213,000 are now infected – the world’s highest figure.

President Donald Trump repeated his earlier warning that the next couple of weeks would be “horrific”.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post said the federal government’s reserves of protective kit were almost exhausted.

Quoting officials in the Department for Homeland Security, the newspaper this had left the federal government and individual US states competing for safety gear, while the unprecedented demand had led to profiteering.

The Trump administration says it can acquire adequate supplies, and has $16bn (£13bn) available to do so.

In other developments on Wednesday:

What are the latest US figures?

The number of confirmed infections in the US rose by more than 25,000 in one day, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins by Wednesday evening.

The worst hit place is New York City, where more than 1,300 people have died.

Sobering pictures from the city have shown bodies being loaded onto refrigerated morgue trucks outside hospitals.

Other clusters are also flaring up in places like New Orleans and Detroit.

In Connecticut, a six-week-old baby has died from Covid-19, believed to be America’s youngest victim of the virus so far.

Florida, Georgia and Mississippi have become the latest US states to issue lockdown orders.

More than 75% of the US population are now under orders to stay at home.

US officials say that as many as 240,000 people could die from the disease – even with the mitigation measures in place.

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