Coronavirus: US death toll exceeds 5,000

The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has gone above 5,000, Johns Hopkins University has said.

Earlier the university said 884 people had died in 24 hours – a new record.

Among the latest victims was a six-week-old baby. More than 216,000 are now infected – the world’s highest figure.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post said the federal government’s reserves of protective equipment and medical supplies were almost exhausted.

Quoting officials in the Department for Homeland Security, the newspaper this had left the federal government and individual US states competing for safety gear, while the unprecedented demand had led to profiteering.

Media captionCoronavirus: Lack of medical supplies ‘a national shame’

The Trump administration says it can acquire adequate supplies, and has $16bn (£13bn) available to do so.

In other developments on Wednesday:

  • US Vice-President Mike Pence warned the US appeared to be on a similar trajectory as Italy, where the death toll has exceeded 13,000 – more than in any country
  • In the UK, the Wimbledon tennis tournament has been cancelled for the first time since World War Two
  • British government officials vowed to ramp up testing within weeks
  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised the largest economic programme in the country’s history
  • The official death toll in Iran has passed 3,000
  • World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says a million people will be infected globally within days

What are the latest US figures?

The death toll in the US exceeded 5,100 and was continuing to rise, Johns Hopkins reported late on Wednesday.

The number of confirmed infections in the US rose by more than 25,000 in one day.

The worst hit place is New York City, where more than 1,300 people have died.

Sobering pictures from the city have shown bodies being loaded onto refrigerated morgue trucks outside hospitals.

Other clusters are also flaring up in places like New Orleans and Detroit.

In Connecticut, a six-week-old baby has died from Covid-19, believed to be America’s youngest victim of the virus so far.

Media captionUS death rates v UK, Italy and South Korea

Florida, Georgia and Mississippi have become the latest US states to issue lockdown orders.

More than 75% of the US population are now under orders to stay at home.

US officials say that as many as 240,000 people could die from the disease – even with the mitigation measures in place.