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03 April 2020 - 12:38
News ID: 449874
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The Pentagon is seeking to hand out 100,000 body bags as hospitals and morgues are overrun with coronavirus fatalities, and as the number of virus cases in the United States surpassed 216,000, with more than 5,100 victims.

RNA - Nearly 5,140 patients have already died from COVID-19 in the United States, Johns Hopkins University reported on Thursday, while the number of coronavirus cases has reached more than 216,700, as the country tops the list of the virus affected nations worldwide.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has requested 100,000 body bags, officially called human remains pouches, and the Pentagon is looking to buy more body bags, as it dips into its stockpile of 50,000, Bloomberg reported. The request went through the Defense Logistics Agency, which oversees the distribution of the Pentagon's body bag stockpile.

The US Army’s Human Resources Command has also asked 10,000 soldiers in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) who recently finished their military obligations to consider volunteering in medical centers across the US to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York has been hit the hardest, with more than 1,900 deaths and over 84,000 coronavirus cases, according to officials. In New York alone, at least 12,200 people remain hospitalised - more than 3,000 of them in intensive care.

Neighbouring New Jersey was the second-hardest hit state, with more than 22,250 cases and 355 deaths, and then California, with over 9,800 patients and 212 fatalities.

The coronavirus has become the third-highest cause of death in the US, according to a doctor's analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Heart disease is responsible for 1,774 US deaths per day, and cancer causes 1,641 deaths each day, according to the CDC.

Vice President Mike Pence conceded on Wednesday that the US’ coronavirus outbreak may be “most comparable” to Italy, the hardest-hit country in the world, with more than 13,000 deaths.

“We think Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States at this point,” Pence told CNN, as for weeks, the American president and other top US officials downplayed the threat the virus posed.

On Wednesday, the stock market plummeted as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths continued to climb in the United States. According to a new Grinnell College poll released Wednesday, more than a quarter of Americans say they’ve already lost wages as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic broadens.

The White House has projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the United State from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained. The projections were presented during a White House briefing on Tuesday. They suggest if no social distancing measures had been put in place across the country between 1.5 million to 2.2 million people would have died.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump called US efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus "a matter of life and death" and urged the public to heed his administration's social distancing guidelines. He finally leveled with America about the desperate reality of the virus pandemic, warning of cruel weeks to come in one of the most chilling White House moments in modern history.

Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), stated last Tuesday that the amount of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States is growing so rapidly that the country has the potential to become the new epicenter of the pandemic.

The number of Covid-19 infections around the world passed 938,000 confirmed cases on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, while more than 47,270 patients have died of the sickness, many of the victims in the US and Europe.

The COVID-19 emerged in the Central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, incrementally infecting some 200 countries across the world. Chinese authorities have stated that although the domestic transmission of the deadly disease has been largely stopped, the growing number of imported cases risks triggering a secondary wave of the infection.

But on Tuesday, WHO experts warned that while some Asian countries appear to have slowed down the spread of the Covid-19, no nation should let its guard down. They cautioned that the pandemic in Asia is "far from over".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced since the United Nations was formed in the wake of World War II.

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