The death toll from the novel coronavirus in the US has crossed one lakh, the highest for any country in the world, as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the globe by upending life and disrupting economic activity. The wave of deaths, one-third of which has come from the world's financial capital of New York and neighbouring New Jersey and Connecticut, has had a devastating impact on American economy which has now gone into recession with an unprecedented over 35 million losing their jobs in the last three months.
However, a silver lining is the rate of both deaths and new cases have been registering a decline, a development that has encouraged almost all of the 50 States to announce plans to reopen their economies. "With the 100,000th recorded American death due to COVID-19, our nation marks a somber milestone. All across the country, families are mourning loved-ones lost to this disease," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.
"It is difficult to comprehend the scope of this tragedy, and each of these 100,000 Americans is a parent, grandparent, sibling, child, and valued community member," he said after Johns Hopkins University which records the data reported that the death toll on Wednesday crossed the 100,000 mark. The New York Times said that the death toll exceeds the number of US military combat fatalities in every conflict since the Korean War.
It matches the toll in the United States of the 1968 flu pandemic, and it is approaching the 116,000 killed in another flu outbreak a decade before that, it said. So far, more than 1.7 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus has impacted all age groups and communities in the US. Asian Americans accounts for 4.7 per cent of the total coronavirus cases and Black Americans 26.3 per cent. There is no official record for deaths of Indian-Americans or those who got infected. But some unofficial estimates put the number of deaths among Indian-Americans to over 500 in New York and New Jersey area and those who tested positive to several thousands.
Several prominent Indian-American doctors and eminent community members have succumbed to the COVID-19 in the past two months. After initial hiccups, the US has ramped up its testing across the nation. So far, it has done a record 15.7 million tests of which 1.8 million have tested positive, the CDC said.
The largest number of cases of over 500,000 have been found in the age group of 18-44 years, followed by over 450,000 in the age group of 45-64 years. "Our nation mourns the loss of so many Americans to this deadly pandemic now more than 100,000 killed, including nearly 5,000 in Illinois," Congressman Bill Foster said.
"It's important to realise that while this crisis has caused deep economic strain to our economy, those who've lost friends or family members to the coronavirus are the ones who've experienced the most pain, and our thoughts are with everyone mourning loved ones," he said. Globally, the coronavirus has claimed 355,615 lives and has infected over 5.6 million people, according to the Johns Hopkins University data.