U.S. Coronavirus Cases Hit 150,000, Nearly Double China's Total Infections

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. have climbed past 153,200, with a death toll of over 2,800, while around 5,000 have recovered from infection, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The virus, which was first reported in Wuhan, a city in China's Hubei province, has infected over 766,300 people globally across 177 countries and regions. More than 160,000 have recovered from infection, while over 36,800 have died. Around 82,200 people have been confirmed to be infected in China, nearly 76,000 of whom have recovered, while more than 3,300 have died.

The U.S. is now the new epicenter of the outbreak, with its total confirmed cases nearly doubling that of China and surpassing Italy, which has more than 101,700 cases, including 11,591 deaths (the world's highest death toll so far).

China claims the virus has been largely contained, with more cases reported outside the country than within. But the outbreak has gained ground in the U.S. and has devastated New York, the worst-hit state in the country, with more than 59,500 cases recorded as of Sunday, according to the latest report from the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

New York City alone has reported more than 33,700 cases to date, with at least 776 deaths, while the state's death toll has surpassed 1,000 over the weekend.

In a bid to further combat the spread, President Donald Trump on Sunday announced an extension of the lockdown measures, which were previously scheduled to end on Monday.

"The peak of this virus' death rate is likely to hit in two weeks. We MUST stay the course and keep following the guidelines," the White House warned in a post on its official Twitter account on Sunday.

"We will be extending our guidelines to April 30 to slow the spread," Trump said at a White House press briefing on Sunday.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases—the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus—in a selection of states.

This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York state, Washington state and California.
This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York state, Washington state and California.

Nearly half of the country, at least 22 states, have issued "stay at home" orders which require residents to remain at home, while all non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants, entertainment facilities and other places of public gatherings, are shuttered.

On Sunday, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who is on the U.S. COVID-19 virus task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that the country could potentially face up to 200,000 deaths from the virus, if no measures are taken to curb the outbreak.

"Whenever the models come in, they give a worst-case scenario and a best-case scenario. Generally, the reality is somewhere in the middle. I've never seen a model of the diseases that I've dealt with where the worst case actually came out. They always overshoot," Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper on the State of the Union.

New York City coronavirus mask March 2020
A woman wearing a protective mask is seen in Union Square on March 9, 2020 in New York City. Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises. Getty Images

He explained: "I mean, looking at what we're seeing now, you know, I would say between 100 and 200,000 [deaths.]"

He added that the country could have "millions of [COVID-19] cases," ranging from 1.6 million to 2.2 million if the country does nothing to mitigate the spread.

Dr. Deborah Birx, another medical expert on the COVID-19 virus task force, agreed with the projections made by Fauci. She noted even "if we do things almost perfectly," there could be up to 200,000 U.S. deaths.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S.

This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by state.
This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by state.

Data on COVID-19 cases is from Johns Hopkins University unless otherwise stated.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
    Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.