Coronavirus: US death toll exceeds 5,000

The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has gone above 5,000, Johns Hopkins University has said.

Earlier the university said 884 people had died in 24 hours – a new record.

Among the latest victims was a six-week-old baby. More than 216,000 are now infected – the world’s highest figure.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post said the federal government’s reserves of protective equipment and medical supplies were almost exhausted.

Quoting officials in the Department for Homeland Security, the newspaper said this had left the federal government and individual US states competing for safety gear, while the unprecedented demand had led to profiteering.

The Trump administration says it can acquire adequate supplies, and has $16bn (£13bn) available to do so.

In other developments on Wednesday:

  • US Vice-President Mike Pence warned the US appeared to be on a similar trajectory as Italy, where the death toll has exceeded 13,000 – more than in any country
  • In the UK, the Wimbledon tennis tournament has been cancelled for the first time since World War Two
  • British government officials vowed to ramp up testing within weeks
  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised the largest economic programme in the country’s history
  • The official death toll in Iran has passed 3,000
  • World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says a million people will be infected globally within days
  • <<BBC>>