Coronavirus News Asia

US to ease lockdown after virus passes ‘peak’

President Donald Trump said he will announce Thursday the first plans for lifting coronavirus lockdowns across the United States after the country passed the pandemic’s “peak,” mirroring a gradual easing in Europe.

His comments came shortly before the number of US fatalities – already the world’s highest – reached a new daily record and became the heaviest one-day death toll of any nation.

“It is clear that our aggressive strategy is working,” he told a news conference late Wednesday in Washington. “The battle continues, but the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases.”

Trump said he would be announcing guidelines for a reduction in the lockdown in some states, possibly taking effect before the end of this month.

Earlier, Germany also unveiled its plans for cautious reopening, becoming the first major European nation to take on the delicate task of restarting its economy without triggering a new wave of infections before a vaccine can be developed.

Facing a difficult re-election in November, Trump predicted that the US economy, the world’s largest, would “come back quickly” from the paralysis induced by measures taken to slow the virus.

Around the world, the total number of Covid-19 cases soared past two million, according to an AFP tally, and the death toll topped 134,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The US saw 2,569 deaths over a 24-hour period, data from Johns Hopkins showed, with total US deaths above 28,300

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