WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has said the US has increased the Covid-19 testing capacity and the number of tests being conducted in the country will cross the 10 million-mark this week even as the coronavirus deaths surged past 80,000 in the world’s worst-affected nation.
The coronavirus, which originated in China, has so far infected more than 4 million people and claimed over 285,000 lives worldwide.
US has so far recorded over 1.3 million infected cases and more than 80,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University data.
The US Food and Drug Administration has authorised over 92 public health laboratories to conduct the tests, and over nine million have been performed in the US. Three weeks ago, the US was conducting roughly 150,000 tests per day, which now has increased to 300,000 tests daily.
Speaking to reporters during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday, Trump announced that the US this week will pass 10 million tests conducted, nearly double the number of any other country.
“We’re testing more people per capita than South Korea, the UK, France, Japan, Sweden, Finland, and many other countries — and, in some cases, combined,” he said.
The President said that as a result of the steps being taken by the administration, every single state will be able to test more people per capita in May alone than South Korea has tested in four months since the outbreak began.
This major commitment is possible because of the massive mobilisation of the American industry, including Puritan Medical Products, US Cotton, Abbott Labs, and Thermo Fisher.
Trump said that his administration used every resource available in the country to combat the deadly virus.
“To battle a virus, my administration marshalled every resource at our nation’s disposal: public, private, military, economic, scientific, and industrial — all at your disposal. We launched the largest manufacturing ramp-up since the Second World War. There’s been nothing like it since,” Trump said.
“This global pandemic has inflicted great pain and hardship on our people. It should have never been allowed to happen. It should have been stopped at the source.
“We mourn for every life the virus has claimed, and we share the grief of all of you who have lost a loved one — and that goes worldwide, too. Many, many countries — 184 countries, at least,” he said.
Acknowledging that the American economy has been hit badly in the first quarter and the second quarter is likely to be bad as well, Trump exuded confidence that the country will bounce back economically in the third and fourth quarter.
“Next year, I think we’re going to have one of the best years we’ve ever had because there’s a tremendous pent-up demand. It’s a demand — and I’m feeling it,” he asserted.
People of the country, he said, have learned a lot over the last two months.
“They’ve learned about social distancing and washing your hands and other things that we’ve all learned and talked about. They’ve learned about — I see everybody — just about everybody has a facemask on. They’ve learned about facemasks — the good and the bad, by the way. It’s not a one-sided thing, believe it or not,” he added.
“But our country has learned. Our country has been incredible. And you see the numbers; they’re dropping very substantially. The numbers are dropping around our country very, very substantially,” he said in response to a question.
Meanwhile, over 40 states, including the country’s epicentre New York, have announced plans to reopen their economy.
New York, which alone has registered more than 330,000 confirmed cases and over 21,000 deaths, will allow some areas to reopen on Friday.