Washington: The US has become the world's first country to have registered more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day with 2,108 fatalities reported in the past 24 hours, while the number of infections in America has crossed 500,000, the highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
China, where the deadly coronavirus disease started in December last year before spreading across Europe and America killing more than 100,000, has so far recorded 81,000 cases of positive infections and 3,339 deaths.
In terms of fatalities, the US might soon overtake Italy where 18,848 COVID-19 deaths have happened so far. By Friday night, the US had 1,8679 recorded deaths, closely behind Italy. More than 16,000 people have died in Spain and over 13,000 in Germany, the university data said.
By Friday night more than 2,108 Americans had died due to the novel coronavirus and 500,399 people had tested positive with the dreaded disease, it said.
The COVID-19 positive cases in the United States are now more than the other top countries taken together: Spain (158,000), Italy (147,000), Germany (122,000) and France (112,000).
New York, which has emerged as the epicenter of COVID-19 deaths, has registered over 1.7 lakh positive cases, which is more than any other country.
More than 7,800 people in New York have died due to coronavirus. New Jersey has has nearly 2,000 deaths and more than 54,000 confirmed cases.
Before the start of the week, members of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus had projected between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths in the US.
While President Donald Trump had said that this was going to be a "terrible, terrible" week in terms of death, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the week was going to be 9/11 and Pearl Harbour moment for the country.
On Friday, Trump told reporters that as per the new projections the death toll was expected to be below 60,000.
"Hard to believe that if you had 60,000 (deaths), you could never be happy, but that's a lot fewer than we were originally told and thinking. So they said between 100 and 220,000 lives on the minimum side, and then up to 2.2 million lives if we didn't do anything. But it showed a just tremendous resolve by the people," he said.
Trump has declared a national emergency, has notified major disaster declaration for almost all of the 50 States and more than 95 per cent of the 330 million population are under stay-at-home order.
The American economy is headed for a recession, experts say.
New York, the epicenter, he said is showing signs of a "downward curve," Trump said.
"A lot of that has to do with the aggressive strategy in saving so many lives. We're saving so many lives compared to what it could have been," he said.
"In New York, we're seeing hospital admissions declining very substantially. And nationwide, the number of new cases per day is flattening substantially, suggesting that we are near the peak and our comprehensive strategy is working," Trump said.
Over time, the guidelines to slow the spread are decreasing the rate of new cases very substantially and will result in fewer hospital admissions, he added.
According to Dr Deborah Brix, a member of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus, the mortality rate in the United States is significantly less than many other countries.
"That is really solely the work of our frontline healthcare providers," she said, but cautioned that the country has still not reached the peak.
"But as encouraging as they are, we have not reached the peak. And so, every day, we need to continue to do what we did yesterday and the week before and the week before that, because that's what, in the end, is going to take us up across the peak and down the other side," Brix said.
Globally, 102,669 people have died due to coronavirus and over 1.6 million people have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University data.