The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the United States hit almost 104,000 early on Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, with the number of fatalities close to 1,700, pushing the global death toll up to 27,324.
The US has overtaken China (81,782 cases) and Italy (80,589). Worldwide, the cases have reached more than 595,800 of which about 131,000 have recovered.
With medical facilities running low on ventilators and protective masks and hampered by limited diagnostic testing capacity, the US death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, rose beyond 1,200.
“Any scenario that is realistic will overwhelm the capacity of the healthcare system,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told a news conference.
He described the state’s projected shortfall in ventilators – machines that support the respiration of people have cannot breathe on their own – as “astronomical.”