Coronavirus latest: China places curbs on lunar new year travel to control outbreak

Peter Wells in New York

One year to the day since the first diagnosed case of coronavirus in the US, the country reported a record daily increase in its Covid-19 death toll as the Biden administration took over the country’s response to the pandemic.

Authorities attributed a further 4,409 fatalities to coronavirus, more than double the 2,141 reported on Tuesday, according to Covid Tracking Project data. That surpassed the previous daily record of 4,087 on January 13.

The latest figure was underpinned by California and Texas, the two most-populous states. The former reported 694 fatalities, one shy of its single-day record, while the latter set a new peak with 450 reported deaths in a day.

Since the start of the pandemic, 396,837 people in the US have died of the virus, according to Covid Tracking Project, while Johns Hopkins University, which uses an alternate methodology, puts the death toll at more than 400,000.

Over the past week, the US has averaged 3,043 fatalities a day, less than the record rate of 3,335 a day recorded about a week ago. On Tuesday, the number dipped below 3,000 for the first time in 11 days.

Hospitalisations continue on an encouraging downward trend. The number of people currently in US hospitals with coronavirus dropped by more than 1,100 over the past 24 hours to 122,700, a 23-day low.

An additional 185,822 infections were reported, up from 144,047 on Tuesday, but the fourth day in a row with daily cases below 200,000. Over the past week, the US has averaged 192,825 cases, the lowest rate in 19 days and down from a record of 244,707 on January 11.

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