US daily COVID-19 death toll below 1,000 for first time in months

The US is the country worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, recording more than 29 million infections and 525,000 deaths.

While cases and deaths are plateauing in the US, health officials have warned against prematurely lifting restrictions [File: Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press]

For the first time in nearly three and a half months, the United States has recorded fewer than 1,000 deaths in a day from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the last 24 hours, 749 people died from the coronavirus, far below the peak of 4,473 deaths recorded on January 12, according to the data.

The daily US death toll has not been below the 1,000 mark since November 29, when 822 people died in a 24-hour period.

The US has recorded more than 29 million infections and 525,000 deaths since the pandemic began, the most in both metrics of any country in the world.

However, last week, it also became the top country in terms of administered vaccines.

To date, over 92 million people have been inoculated against the virus in the US.

Three vaccines have currently been approved for emergency use in the US and President Joe Biden has said enough shots should be available for all adults in the country by the end of May.

Warning of surges

Meanwhile, on Saturday, a colossal $1.9-trillion coronavirus aid plan successfully passed the Senate and is expected to soon be approved by the House, handing Biden his first legislative victory after a campaign defined by vows to prioritise ending the outbreak.

While the plateauing of cases and deaths has been heartening, health officials have warned of new surges as new, more infectious variants of the virus continue to spread in the US.

Biden and federal health officials have also criticised some states for prematurely moving to lift restrictions and threatening to prolong the outbreak.

Nevertheless, health authorities added to the cautious optimism on Monday when they announced that vaccinated people could meet together in small groups indoors without wearing masks or the need for social distancing.

However, they must continue to respect these precautionary measures in the presence of unvaccinated people and in public spaces, authorities said.

Biden is set to give an address on Thursday marking the one-year anniversary of coronavirus shutdowns in the US.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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