U.S. coronavirus death toll passes 3,000 as Spain and Italy honor their dead

With more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.S., the death toll in the U.S. is approaching, according to the numbers released in China on Tuesday, where the pandemic broke out.

The number of people confirmed to be infected with the virus in the United States reached 163,838 by 2:30 p.m. CET, according to NBC News’ Tracker. More than a third of the cases concern the state of New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York warned that the situation in his state is a sign of the future if other parts of the country do not act quickly.

“New Yorkers’ immune systems are not unique. There is no American who is immune to this virus,” he said to Lawrence O’Donnell in MSNBC’s The Last Word. “New York is just the test case for it. We are the canary in the coal mine.”

A healthcare worker sits on a bench near Central Park in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City on Monday.Jeenah Moon / Reuters

On Monday, President Donald Trump said at a press conference that support would be rolled out across the country, including building a 2,900-bed hospital in New York and thousands more beds and equipment distributed by the U.S. Navy and the Army Corps of Engineers .

“It was really amazing what they did,” he said.

“I think we’ll be in very good shape,” he added of preparations for the country to cope with the growing infection rate.

Trump also approved disaster relief plans for the states of Rhode Island and Pennsylvania on Monday.

In Europe, a moment of silence was planned at 12 noon. Local time in Spain and Italy Tuesday. The two countries are responsible for more than half of the 37,829 deaths worldwide related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are 787,010 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide.

In China, the mortality rate has slowed, and only one more has been reported since Monday. The total number rose to 3,187.

With the country easing restrictions after the virus slowed down, the factories have reopened so that China’s manufacturing industry can recover this month.

However, the Chinese Logistics and Purchasing Association warned that the second largest economy in the world is still facing challenges in rebuilding supply chains, while the authorities are trying to prevent infections from increasing when employees return to work.

The World Health Organization has also warned that the pandemic in Asia is “far from over”.

“This will be a long-term struggle and we cannot give up our vigilance,” said Dr. Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the West Pacific region, during a press conference on Monday in Manila, Philippines.

“We need every country to respond to the local situation,” he said.

The Japanese foreign minister announced on Tuesday that his citizens would be banned from entering 73 countries, including the United States, China, South Korea and most of Europe, to prevent the virus from spreading. It would also prohibit the entry of people from these countries.

France reached a bleak milestone on Monday with 418 new deaths, with the highest increase in deaths in a single day. It brought the country’s total to 3,024. The country’s health director, Jerome Salomon, said more than 5,000 patients were in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

In Italy, where 11,591 people died the most on Tuesday, flags fluttered around half the workforce across the country.

Italian health minister Roberto Speranza said the nationwide ban that is slated to end this Friday is expected to be extended until Easter after meeting with a scientific committee that has advised the government on how to contain the virus.

Even after the block is lifted, stringent corporate measures are likely to continue to keep people at a safe distance, and some companies, such as gyms and beauty salons, may remain closed for longer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lidia Sirna and Nancy Ing contributed.

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