THE US has suffered its deadliest 24 hours of the coronavirus pandemic so far as states begin to reopen and thousands flock to the nation's beaches and parks.
Figures released by the World Health Organisation said that 2,909 deaths were reported on Friday, with the country's overall toll from the virus now at more than 68,000.
Over 30 states have begun to lift lockdown restrictions, with retailers and some public areas being allowed to reopen first, though social distancing guidelines remain in place.
Photos taken over the weekend showed thousands of people walking in parks and crowded onto beaches across the country.
Federal guidelines say that a state should see its total number of cases decline for 14 days before easing its lockdown, but many of those lifting measures are still seeing hundreds of new cases confirmed each day.
Texas – the second most populous state – has seen between 800 and 1,500 new cases on each of the last five days, but is now allowing malls, restaurants, movie theatres, and libraries to reopen at 25 percent capacity.
Other business like gyms, bars, swimming pools, and tattoo parlours remain closed.
Florida, which saw over 1,000 new cases on Friday and 1,300 over the weekend, is beginning a similar easing of measures from today.
In New York, where a lockdown is set to remain in place until May 15, dozens of rotting bodies were last week discovered in trucks outside a funeral home that had been overwhelmed by demand.
Recent weeks have seen wide protests by people claiming the lockdown is unlawful and calling for restrictions to be lifted.
Demonstrations have been seen in Michigan, North Carolina, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, and Washington.
'FOR STATES TO LIFT LOCKDOWNS'
President Trump has at points promoted federal guidelines on the measures necessary to stop the spread of the virus, but at others has sounded supportive of those calling for an end to the lockdown.
Yesterday, he tweeted a video showing dozens of boats on a stretch of water near his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, a number of them bearing the logo his of 2020 reelection campaign.
"Thank you very much to our beautiful 'boaters'," he wrote.
"I will never let you down!"
Speaking on Friday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told a briefing that the president wanted a "safe reopening".
"He encourages all states to follow the data-driven guidelines to reopening," McEnany said.
"But ultimately, it's the decision of the states."
Experts around the world continue to warn of a resurgence in the number of coronavirus cases and further peaks in demand on healthcare systems if containment measures are lifted too soon.
The total number of confirmed cases in the currently stands at almost 1.2million.
Source: Read Full Article