Globally, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections on Thursday crossed one million. (Photo Credit: PTI)
The US is at a "very critical" phase in its fight against COVID-19, President Donald Trump has said, advising Americans to stay indoors and practise social distancing for the next four weeks to win the war against the rapidly-spreading coronavirus pandemic.
More than 305 million out of the total 330 million Americans are staying indoors as the US battles to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus which has infected over 235,000 people and claimed 5,800 lives in the country, the White House has said.
Mounting a wartime-like operation by marshalling all its resources, members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force rued on Thursday that not every American was following the COVID-19 social mitigation measures.
The social mitigation measures including social distancing, which has now have been extended till April 30, is key to a successful fight against coronavirus, officials said.
"We are in a very critical phase of our war against the coronavirus; it is vital that every American follows our guidelines on the 30 days to slow the spread. The sacrifices we make over the next four weeks will have countless American lives saved," Trump told reporters during his daily White House news conference on Thursday.
"We are going to save a lot of American lives, and we are in control of our own fate very much so. Maintaining social distancing, practising vigorous hygiene, and staying at home are your most effective ways to win the war, and to escape danger," he said.
The New York metropolitan areas comprising New Jersey and Connecticut alone has more than 120,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which in itself is much more than China from where it all started, according to latest data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracker. The fatalities crossed 3,000 in the tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Death Count Crosses One Million-Mark
Globally, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections on Thursday crossed one million and the fatalities crossing 50,000.
The United States is working with the best scientists, doctors, and researchers anywhere in the world, Trump said.
"We are racing to develop new ways to protect against the virus as well as therapies, treatments, and, ultimately a vaccine, and we are making a lot of progress. I think medically a lot of progress," he said, adding that the US is conducting well over 100,000 coronavirus tests per day.
"And these are accurate tests and they are moving rapidly which is more than any other country in the world both in terms of the number and also on a per capita basis," he said.
US Food and Drug Administration has authorised the first coronavirus antibody test. It is a key step that will help identify people who have recovered and to understand their immune response in their immune system, Trump added.
The president said he had directed his top Cabinet officials to use any and all available authority under the Defense Production Act to ensure that domestic manufacturers have the supplies they need to produce ventilators for patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
This action will help General Electric, Medtronic, ResMed, Royals Phillips and several other companies to overcome obstacles in the supply chain that threaten the rapid production of ventilators, he said, adding that the new ventilators would be ready for distribution soon.
Vice President Mike Pence said that millions of face masks and other essential supplies were being distributed to hospitals in need across the country.
"Let me just remind every American that you can make a difference in ensuring that every patient has the treatment that they deserve, every healthcare provider, every doctor and nurse and nurse's assistant has the protective gear to provide the care that you would want your family to have by putting into practice the president's 30 days to slow the spread," Pence said.
A total of 1,002,159 COVID-19 cases have been reported across more than 175 countries and territories with51,485 deaths reported so far, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The US has reported 236,339 COVID-19 cases, the highest in the world, and over 5,000 people have died due to the disease.