Apr 01, 2020 12:48 UTC
  • US death toll surges amid rush to build field hospitals

The US government raced on Tuesday to build hundreds of makeshift hospitals near major cities as healthcare systems were pushed to capacity, and sometimes beyond, by the coronavirus pandemic.

Even as millions of Americans were confined to their homes under strict “stay-at-home” orders, the death toll, as tallied by Reuters, shot up by more than 850 on Tuesday, by far the most for a single day.

Nearly half of the new fatalities were in New York state, the epicenter of the pandemic despite closed businesses and deserted streets. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded for immediate reinforcements in the country’s biggest city from the Trump administration.

Nearly 3,900 people have already died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, in the United States, more than the 2,977 who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The total confirmed US cases rose to over 188,000.

Worldwide, there are now more than 800,000 cases of the highly contagious illness and more than 40,000 deaths reported.

The number of US deaths could range from 100,000 to 240,000 even if Americans continue to stay home and limit contact with others, experts predicted at a media briefing in the White House with President Donald Trump.