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US exceeds 10,000 Covid-19 deaths, number of new cases in Europe slowing

Washington, Apr 6 (efe-epa).- The United States on Monday surpassed 10,000 coronavirus deaths, while the number of confirmed cases rose to almost 350,000, although the number of new cases in Europe appears to be slowing. Meanwhile, New York City authorities said they are considering using a local park as a temporary burial ground for Covid-19 victims.

Washington, Apr 6 (efe-epa).- The United States on Monday surpassed 10,000 coronavirus deaths, while the number of confirmed cases rose to almost 350,000, although the number of new cases in Europe appears to be slowing. Meanwhile, New York City authorities said they are considering using a local park as a temporary burial ground for Covid-19 victims.

The US death toll from Covid-19 reached 10,372 on Monday, putting this country in third place - after Italy and Spain - in that dire statistic, according to the ongoing unofficial tally by The Johns Hopkins University.

The new figures were released after President Donald Trump, during his daily coronavirus press conference on Sunday, said that this week will "probably (be) the toughest week between this week and next week, and there will be a lot of death."

New York City, which has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, by Monday had suffered 4,758 deaths and tallied 130,689 confirmed cases of Covid-19, compared to 122,000 cases as of Sunday.

Health experts have been cautious in the face of the rising trend in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in the US.

The White House's main epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, at Trump's press conference expressed confidence that the US will see a plateauing and then a decline in the curve reflecting the number of coronavirus cases.

The coming week is "going to be shocking to some," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key official in President Donald Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, told CBS News on Sunday.

"But that's what is going to happen before it turns around, so just buckle down," Fauci said, adding that the rate of increase of new cases will determine whether the US is seeing the epidemic plateau.

Fauci asserted that nobody can say that the US has the crisis "under control," since that would be a false statement, but he said that the measures to contain the number of new infections, with more than 90 percent of the US public abiding by stay-home orders, is clearly working.

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned on Sunday morning that "The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, it's going to be our 9/11 moment, it's going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives. And we really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get through to the other side, everyone needs to do their part."

More than 2,400 Americans died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941, while at least 2,996 people died on Sept. 11, 2001, when Arab terrorists hijacked four jetliners and crashed them into New York's Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania.

Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the coronavirus working group, said that the recent decline in the number of new confirmed cases in Italy and Spain provides hope that the same thing may soon begin to occur in the US, which she said is about "12 days" behind those two countries in terms of how the pandemic is evolving.

Meanwhile, New York City authorities are evaluating whether to use a city park as a temporary cemetery given the fact that local morgues are being overwhelmed with the ongoing avalanche of fatalities from the coronavirus.

The morgues are "now dealing w/ the equivalent of an ongoing 9/11. Every part of this system is now backed up," New York City councilman Mark Levine, who heads the city council's health committee, wrote on Twitter, although he did not specify which park or parks would be used. Mayor Bill de Blasio, however, said that Hart's Island in The Bronx had been used for more than a million burials in the past.

"Soon we'll start 'temporary interment.' This likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that right). Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line," Levine went on. "It will be done in a dignified, orderly-and temporary-manner. But it will be tough for NYers to take."

"The goal is to avoid scenes like those in Italy, where the military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even off the streets," Levine added.

De Blasio went on to tell reporters that "There will be delays (in burial) because of the sheer magnitude of this crisis," adding that "We will have the capacity to do temporary burials, that is all I'm going to say."

However, New York state on Monday saw the number of coronavirus deaths remain considerably lower than before for the second consecutive day with 599 people succumbing to the disease, compared with 594 the day before and 630 the day before that, and - importantly - the number of new hospitalizations on Monday also declined.

Although he insisted that the apparent change in trend must still be confirmed by future data, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the lessening rates of increase are good signs and could suggest that the infection and death curves are "flattening" or beginning to plateau, at least in New York.

Nevertheless, hospitals all across the US are still facing a serious lack of medical materials and supplies, including facemasks and gloves, that could continue to place healthcare workers at significant risk of contracting the virus from ill patients. Hospitals also lack enough thermometers, toilet paper, food, disinfectants and sheets, according to reports.

Meanwhile, on Monday the World Health Organization said that the worldwide total of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 1,211,214, approximately 77,000 more than on Sunday.

The number of deaths worldwide, according to the Geneva-based WHO, currently stands at 67,666, a rise of 4,782 over the day before, although that increase is less than the previous day's approximately 5,800 cases.

By regions, Europe has experienced more than half the cases (655,000), followed by the Americas (352,000) and the Asia-Pacific zone (112,000), but only in the Americas is the curve still on the rise.

The United States is the country with the largest number of cases, followed by Spain (135,000) and Italy (132,000), while Germany has experienced the fourth-largest number of cases, having now exceeded 100,000 cases, and France is on the verge of reaching that same level.

Italy is the country where the most people have died from Covid-19 (16,623), followed by Spain with 13,169 and the US with 10,372.

EFE

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