United States has now surpassed China in the number of Covid-19 cases around the world, with at least 82,404 people are known to have been infected with the deadly coronavirus, the Johns Hopkins University real-time Covid-19 tracker said on Thursday.
It is, however, important to note that the US has been testing people at a much larger scale, when compared with other countries that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
"We now have 370,000 tests that have been done. The majority of those -- over 220,000 in the last eight days, which, those of you who have been tracking the South Korea numbers, put us equivalent to what they did in eight weeks that we did in eight days," Dr Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters on Thursday.
Although the US has surpassed China's 81,782 mark, the Covid-19-related death toll in the country is still lower than China, with 1,178 Americans having died as opposed to the 3,291 Chinese fatalities.
At least 160 million Americans have been ordered to stay home as schools are closed, restaurants and bars have been closed in hope of the curtail spread of the lethal virus, The New York Times reported.
New York City is among the worst-hit cities as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city has reached 38,000 and 281 have died.
On Wednesday, US Senate leaders and Trump Administration had reached an agreement regarding a $2 trillion package to rescue the economy from the coronavirus wrath, paving the way for swift passage of the legislation from both the chambers of Congress.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus-related deaths worldwide exceeded 20,000, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The G-20 summit which concluded on Thursday pledged to inject over USD 5 trillion into the global economy in a bid to counteract the social, economic, and financial impact of Covid 19 that has impacted people in at least 170 countries and caused over 20,000 deaths.
As of Thursday, 4,62,684 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection were registered in the world, 20,834 of the patients died, WHO data shows.
On March 11, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic which has now has been detected in 199 countries and territories.
Situation in West Asia
Iran has reported 2,389 more cases of Covid-19 infection, as the total number reached 29,406. The country reported 157 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, raising its death toll from the virus to 2,234. So far a total of 10,457 patients have recovered since the first cases were detected on February 19.
On Thursday, Iran announced the implementation of a social distancing plan for one week starting Friday. The plan includes further restrictions of the inter-city travels, the closure of public places like parks, swimming pools and entertaining centres, a ban on gatherings, and reducing work hours of civil servants. Xinhua reported.
Turkey on Thursday reported 16 new deaths from Covid-19, as the death toll reached 75. Meanwhile, 1,196 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total number of infections to 3,629. This has made Turkey the second hardest-hit country in the Middle East.
In Israel, a total of 324 people tested positive for the Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,693, of whom eight have died and 70 have recovered.
Israel halted on Thursday all train services, while keeping bus lines on a limited scale for transporting essential workers. Taxis are allowed to take only one passenger per ride.
Morocco confirmed 50 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number to 275. So far, 10 of the infected have died and eight have recovered.
Jordan reported 40 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, which has been the biggest single-day hike so far, raising the total number of infections to 212.
Iraq confirmed 36 new cases, bringing the total number of the infected to 382. Seven more of the infected died, raising the death toll to 36. A total of 105 patients have recovered.
Lebanon reported 35 new Covid-19 cases, as the total number of infections soared to 368, of whom six have died. The government decided to extend the nationwide lockdown for two additional weeks until April 12 in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
Kuwait reported 13 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 208. A total of 49 patients have recovered and 159 are receiving treatment including seven still under intensive care.
Palestine announced 15 new Covid-19 cases, raising the total number to 86, including 77 in the West Bank and nine in the Gaza Strip. All the new cases came from the village of Beddo to the northwest of Jerusalem.
In Oman, 10 new cases of coronavirus infection were detected, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 109. So far, 23 patients have recovered.