Apr 09, 2020 16:23 UTC
  • Nearly 2,000 US coronavirus deaths for second day in a row

The United States recorded nearly 2,000 novel coronavirus deaths for a second day in a row, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University as of Wednesday night.

The record-breaking figure of 1,973 deaths (slightly higher than the previous day's toll of 1,939) brings the total number of US fatalities to 14,695.

The United States has recorded over 431,000 COVID-19 cases and 14,700 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

The US death toll now exceeds that of Spain, which has suffered 14,555 deaths, but has not surpassed Italy, whose toll stands at 17,669.

The US state of New York on Wednesday reported 149,316 coronavirus cases, the most in the world, according to a Reuters tally. The state also recorded 779 deaths, a record high for a second day.

The death toll from the coronavirus in New York City, the pandemic’s US epicenter, rose past 4,000 on Tuesday, eclipsing the number killed at the World Trade Center on during the September 11, 2001 attack.

European countries, including hardest-hit Italy and Spain, have started looking ahead to easing lockdowns but their coronavirus-related fatality rates have fluctuated after initially showing a decline.

US doctors say shocked by speed of coronavirus deaths

For most people, the virus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia. About 300,000 people have recovered worldwide, by Johns Hopkins’ count.

Veteran US doctors and nurses are expressing shock at the speed of coronavirus-related deaths in the country, as patients, even without underlying conditions, are succumbing to the disease.

Patients “look fine, feel fine, then you turn around and they’re unresponsive,” said Diana Torres, a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “I’m paranoid, scared to walk out of their room.”

It isn’t just elderly or patients with underlying health conditions who can be fine one minute and at death’s door the next. It can happen for the young and healthy, too, health professionals told Reuters.

Patients might enter the hospital with strong oxygen levels and be engaged in happy conversation, said a resident emergency doctor at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, only to be “gasping for breath” and intubated a few hours later.

US weekly jobless claims hit 17 million as corona crisis deepens

Business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic caused another surge of US workers applying for unemployment benefits last week, the US Labor Department said Thursday.

First-time claims for jobless benefits hit 6.6 million in the week ending April 4, a slight decrease from the previous week's count of 6.9 million. The latest figures show nearly 17 million American workers lost their jobs since mid-March.