U.S. Hits 5 Million COVID-19 Cases as New Zealand Marks 100 Days Without

After reporting more than 56,000 coronavirus diagnoses on Saturday, the U.S. has hit 5 million cases in over half a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, New Zealand has marked its 100 days with no new cases.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus cases, at 5,000,603 of the total 19,674,865. The U.S. reported 56,174 cases on Saturday, down from the highs of more than 70,000 seen at several points in recent weeks. The U.S. is followed by Brazil which reached 3 million cases on Saturday, and India, which hit 2 million earlier this week.

The U.S. also has the highest death toll, with 162,441out of the global total of 727,641. That is more than all the U.S. service members killed in the First World War. Brazil also precedes the U.S. in deaths, passing 100,000 on Saturday, with Mexico third at just over 52,000.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said the U.S has as a high number of coronavirus cases because it tests many people. The president made such claims in an Axios interview last week, where he also said the U.S. coronavirus deaths were "lower than the world." But, experts say the positive rate—or the number which come back positive—is a more useful measure of a country's success against an infectious disease like the coronavirus.

The performance of the U.S. stands in stark contrast to New Zealand, which has marked 100 days since the virus has spread in the community. New Zealand has 1,569 confirmed coronavirus cases in total, and a death toll of 22. According to the Reuters news agency, it as 23 cases in isolation facilities.

Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand's director-general of health, said on Sunday according to Reuters: "Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent."

The agency reported officials are worried their gains may be under threat as people are refusing to get tested, not using the government's contact tracing app, and not following hygiene guidance.

Bloomfield said: "We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand."

This article and its headline have been updated to reflect that the U.S. has recorded more than 5 million coronavirus cases.

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Coronavirus crisis volunteer Rhiannon Navin greets local residents arriving to a food distribution center on March 18, 2020 in New Rochelle, New York. John Moore/Getty Images