US death toll shoots beyond 16,000

A medical worker wearing a protective mask and suit and a patient suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen in an intensive care unit at the Oglio Po hospital in Cremona, Italy March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

U.S. deaths due to coronavirus topped 16,400 today, according to a Reuters tally, although there are signs the pandemic might be nearing a peak.

Officials warned Americans to expect alarming numbers of coronavirus deaths this week, even as there was evidence that the number of new infections was flattening in New York state, the epicentre of the US pandemic.

But Americans must resist the temptation to backslide on social distancing now that signs of progress have emerged in the battle against the coronavirus outbreak, US medical and state officials said.

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