WASHINGTON: The United States (US) on Friday passed 700,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.
With the highest number of cases and deaths of any country in the world, the US had recorded 700,282 cases of COVID-19 and 36,773 deaths as of 0030 GMT Friday, according to the Baltimore-based university.
That marked an increase of 3,856 deaths in the past 24 hours, but that figure likely includes “probable” virus-linked deaths, which had not previously been counted.
This week, New York City said it would add 3,778 “probable” virus deaths to its official count.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave a toll Friday night of 33,049 dead, including 4,226 probable virus-linked deaths.
The United States has seen the highest death toll in the world in the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of Italy (22,745 deaths) although its population is just a fifth of that of the US.
Spain has recorded 19,478 deaths, followed by France with 18,681.
Meanwhile, the governors of Michigan, Florida and other states outlined tentative steps on Friday to reopen their economies, a day after President Donald Trump unveiled guidelines for a phased lifting of restrictions for stopping the coronavirus pandemic.
With more than 20 million Americans seeking unemployment benefits, states are under pressure to let non-essential businesses reopen despite a shortage of testing needed to prevent the outbreak from regaining traction.
The weeks of shutdown have affected about 97% of the U.S. population. States meeting federal criteria can move into the first phase of re-opening on Friday.