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United States inches towards taking coronavirus epicentre crown from Europe

The United States could become the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

In Geneva, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said infections in the United States had greatly increased.

Over the previous 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were in Europeand the United States, and of those, 40 percent were in the United States.




As of Tuesday, the virus had infected more than 55,041 people there, killing at least 790.

Asked whether the United States could become the new epicentre, Harris said: “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential.”

Some U.S. state and local officials have decried a lack of coordinated federal action, saying that having localities act on their own has put them in competition for supplies.



President Donald Trump acknowledged the difficulty.

“The World market for face masks and ventilators is Crazy. We are helping the states to get equipment, but it is not easy,” he tweeted.

The highly contagious coronavirus has caused entire regions to be placed on lockdown. In some places soldiers are patrolling the streets to keep consumers and workers indoors, halting services and production and breaking supply chains.



“The global health crisis is rapidly morphing into a global recession, as there is a clear tension between preventing infections and ruining the economy,” said Edoardo Campanella, an economist at UniCredit Bank in Milan.

But Wall Street bounced from three-year lows as investors pin their hopes on the U.S. Senate passing a $2 trillion stimulus bill.





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