April 1 2020
The United States administration has forecasted its Covid-19 death toll to reach between 100,000 and 240,000 in coming months after taking into account the mitigation efforts currently being undertaken.
“As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it,” said US top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci at a press conference in White House yesterday, which was also attended by President Donald Trump.
Despite the grim projection, Fauci said mitigation was actually working and that authorities are doing everything they can to get the death toll significantly below the forecasted statistics.
United States recorded 865 new Covid-19 deaths yesterday, taking its death toll to 3,873, which surpassed that of China, where the coronavirus was first detected.
Trump said he was extending social distancing and stay-at-home orders for another 30 days. Three quarters of Americans are now already under some form of lockdown.
“This is going to be a very painful — a very, very painful — two weeks. I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” he said.
Meanwhile, the death toll shot up again in Europe yesterday after earlier hopeful signs that the spread of Covid-19 infections was slowing down.
Hardest-hit Italy and Spain each suffered more than 800 new deaths while Britain reported 381 new deaths.
France recorded a one-day record of 499 deaths, bringing its total to 3,525, which includes only those who died in hospital and not those who perished at home or old folks’ homes.
Covid-19 has infected more than 857,000 people and forced 3.6 billion people around the world to stay at home to avoid spreading the pandemic.
The crisis has also hit the global economy hard as millions of the world’s workforce cannot perform their jobs and are now lacking pay.
In response, finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 major economies yesterday pledged to address the debt burden of low-income countries and deliver aid to emerging markets.
Last week G20 leaders said they were injecting $5 trillion into the global economy to head off a deep recession.