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US Reports Highest 24-Hour Coronavirus Death Toll on Record

US Reports Highest 24-Hour Coronavirus Death Toll on Record
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By Staff, Agencies

Almost 1,500 deaths from COVID-19 coronavirus were recorded in the US between Thursday and Friday, according to the online tracker managed by Johns Hopkins University.

The figure marks the highest day-on-day death toll on record in the ongoing pandemic.

According to Johns Hopkins, the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in the US now stands at 7,406 and is the third-largest in the world after Italy and Spain.

With its 277,965 confirmed cases – more than in second and third worst-hit countries combined – the US also accounts for the highest number of infections in the world.

As the fresh figures were rolled out, President Donald Trump on Friday recommended that Americans cover their faces with masks when outdoors, a policy U-turn following growing scientific research suggesting their widespread use can stem the spread of the coronavirus.

"It's going to be really a voluntary thing," he underlined. "You don't have to do it and I'm choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it and that's okay."

US health officials have recently been cited as saying that the rationale behind using masks stems from two facts – first, evidence pointing that the virus can infect a new host even during a conversation, without sneezing or coughing, and second, that a high number of COVID-19 cases is asymptomatic.

The policy is at the center of a global debate, with Asian countries saying masks were instrumental in containing the outbreak and Israel's Netanyahu recently urging Israelis to don them in public places after some initial hesitation from the Ministry of Health.