With the number of people killed by the coronavirus in the United States on Monday, nearly 10,000, the country’s top medical officials have warned that the worst has not yet come.
The number of cases increased to 337,752 – almost three times higher than the second most affected country, Spain – with 9,619 people killed at 5:10 a.m.ET, according to NBC News tracker.
At the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States, the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, said that essential medical supplies and personnel were secure, but warned that the scale of the crisis was equal to that of the Spanish flu and the Great Depression.
As of Sunday evening, the city had 2,472 deaths from the virus, de Blasio said in a statement. While 2,865 ventilators and 1,780 additional breathing devices have been distributed in the city, it still needs 1,000 to 1,500 ventilators by next Sunday.
Earlier, surgeon general Jerome Adams urged the nation to stay home and practice social distancing, calling it the country’s “Pear Harbor moment” this week.
“It will be the most difficult time for many Americans in their entire lives,” Adams told Meet the Press on Sunday at MSNBC. “And we really have to understand that if we want to smooth this curve and go to the other side, everyone has to do their part. “
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Meanwhile, lead infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted the country is “struggling” to contain the epidemic.
In an interview with Face the Nation on CBS News on Sunday, Fauci said, “Things are going to go wrong, and we need to prepare for it. “
Veterans across the country are also losing their lives due to the virus, accounting for 103 cases Sunday evening, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. To date, almost 25,000 tests have been administered to veterans, revealing 2,699 confirmed cases, an increase of 183 cases from the previous day.
Abroad, Japan is also preparing for the worst. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to declare a state of emergency as early as Tuesday morning, when the number of cases exceeds 3,600, according to local media.
On Monday, the Tokyo Medical Association issued a statement calling on Abe to issue the statement in order to make the resources necessary for the country’s medical system available. This is followed by mounting criticism from business owners and politicians that the country has not responded quickly enough.
US forces in Japan, on Monday, declared a health emergency at their bases in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, in response to the increase in cases.
In Italy – which registered the highest number of victims in the world with 15,887 deaths – the latest data showed signs that a peak could have been reached with three days of decline in the number of deaths per day. The country reported an additional 525 deaths on Sunday, down sharply from the peak of 969 deaths seen on March 27.
The country’s health minister said he is exploring options to ease lock restrictions, but a return to normal life is still a long way off and social distancing rules are likely to remain in place to prevent a rebound in cases.
“There are difficult months ahead. Our task is to create the conditions for living with the virus, ”Roberto Speranza told La Republica daily.
The number of new cases in Spain also seems to be slowing, according to Health Minister Salvador Illa. On Sunday, the number of new cases increased by 5%, compared to 22% three weeks ago.
Spain is one of the hardest hit countries with 12,641 deaths and 131,646 cases. Illa said the country continues to face “very hard weeks ahead” as the number of cases entering intensive care units reaches “particularly worrying” levels.
Reuters contributed to this report.