WASHINGTON: The US has surpassed Italy as the country with the maximum number of coronavirus deaths in the world because the fatalities as of Sunday reached 20,604, as per the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
As of Sunday morning, Italy has reported 19,648 coronavirus deaths, placing it in the second position after the US, the information published by the university's enter for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed.
The US also accounts for the most number of confirmed cases with 529,887. Spain, where the figure of confirmed infections stands at 163,027, is a distant second, followed by Italy with 152,271 cases.
New York state, the epicentre of the pandemic in the US, has recorded the maximum number of deaths within the country, 8,627, which is followed by New Jersey and Michigan with 2,183 and 1,276, respectively, the CSSE data showed.
A total of 32,001 patients from the country have recovered, it added.
US President Donald Trump's administration, which earlier estimated that the pandemic would cause anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the US, revised its projection downward during this week to 60,000, reports Efe news.
Members of the White House coronavirus task force credit the more optimistic forecast to the success of the stay-at-home orders issued by 42 of the 50 states, also as Puerto Rico and therefore the District of Columbia, covering around 316 million people.
Trump, who has repeatedly decried the economic cost of closing schools and businesses to contain the virus, said late last month that he hoped to re-open the country by Easter Sunday.
During Friday's news briefing by the task force, Trump sought to reassure Americans that he would be guided by doctors too as by recommendations from the "Opening Our Country Council" he plans to initiate by next week.
"I want to get it open as soon as possible. The facts are going to determine what I do," the president said.
"I'm going to need to make a choice, and that I only hope to God that it is the right decision. But I might say, without question, it is the biggest decision I've ever had to form," Trump said.
As of Sunday, the worldwide coronavirus cases reached 1,777,517, with 108,862 deaths, while 404,236 people have recovered.