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Over 54,000 Covid-19 deaths, number of cases near a million in hardest hit US



The United States recorded 1,330 more Covid-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours, according to figures reported late on Sunday by the Johns Hopkins University.

The country now has an overall death toll of 54,841, with 9,64,937 confirmed infections, according to a tally by the Baltimore-based institution at 8:30 pm on Sunday.

The United States is by far the hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, in terms of both confirmed infections and deaths.

The 24-hour US death toll was 2,494 late on Saturday, and 1,258 on Friday evening – the lowest in nearly three weeks – as the government struggles to quell the virus.

The US government notified lenders on Sunday that it will cap how much each bank can lend under the emergency loan programme designed to keep workers on payrolls amid the coronavirus pandemic, hours ahead of the reopening of the lending programme.

US banks were girding over the weekend for another frantic race to grab $310 billion in fresh small-business aid due to be released by the government.

Despite technical and paperwork challenges, the programme’s first round of funds was exhausted in less than two weeks and lenders expect the second tranche of cash to be snapped up even faster by tens of thousands of applications queued up.

That has left thousands of small businesses that have been forced to shut down in order to stem the disease outbreak, without badly needed funds to keep them afloat.

The shuttering of the US economy due to the coronavirus pandemic is a shock of historic proportions that will likely push the national unemployment rate to 16 per cent or higher this month and require more stimulus to ensure a strong rebound, a White House economic adviser said on Sunday.

“This is the biggest negative shock that our economy, I think, has ever seen. We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that we saw during the ‘Great Depression’ of the 1930s,” President Donald Trump’s adviser, Kevin Hassett, said at an ABC programme.

A record 26.5 million Americans have filed for jobless benefits since mid-March, and retail sales, homebuilding and consumer confidence have all cratered.

Source: hindustantimes


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