U.S. is new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic

See people around the world cheer for health care workers

With 81,321 cases of infection, the country of 330 million people has surpassed virus hot spots China and Italy in reaching the grim milestone.

Spain reels: The country has now recorded more deaths than China - only Italy has more.

The number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus rose to 1,031 in the United States on Wednesday, with 68,572 confirmed cases nationwide, a tracker run by the Johns Hopkins University showed. There are only 3,947 active cases in China at the moment, a starkly low number compared to the U.S.'s 77,830 active cases.

Worldwide, there are more than 510,000 confirmed cases and 22,000 people have died.

The first case in the US was confirmed in Everett, Washington, in late January in a patient who had recently returned from Wuhan, one of China's largest transportation hubs.

New York City hospitals are struggling to manage the high volume of cases and are in desperate need for medical supplies like masks and ventilators.

Almost 3.3 million people registered to claim jobless benefits in a week, almost five times more than the previous record set in 1982.

The Senate voted to pass a $2 trillion economic relief package, which will go to the House next. Reports of new infections from inside the country have stopped. In the United Arab Emirates, authorities announced an overnight weekend lockdown and used drones to tell people to stay home.

The leaders of the Group of 20 major industrialised nations vowed to work together to confront the crisis but made no specific commitments.

In Brazil, the country's governors are defied President Jair Bolsonaro over his call to reopen schools and businesses, dismissing his argument that the "cure" of widespread shutdowns is worse than the disease. As of Thursday, the country had more than 2,500 cases and 59 deaths.

The flu and pneumonia caused around 60,000 deaths.

The virus has killed more than 21,000 people around the world after it was first identified in central China in late December.



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