FT.COM – The US has overtaken China to become the country with the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, with 81,943 Americans now testing positive for Covid-19.
State-by-state figures published late on Thursday showed confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US had overtaken the 81,285 cases reported by China, with the biggest outbreaks in New York, New Jersey and California. A total of 1,177 Americans have died from the rapidly-spreading virus.
The latest US figures underscore how the centre of gravity for the coronavirus pandemic has shifted from Asia to the West. The US overtook China on the same day Beijing said it was temporarily suspending visits from almost all foreign nationals — a marked reversal to policies implemented in the US and Europe in January to limit travellers from China.
China, where the global outbreak first began, does not include positive tests from people who did not exhibit symptoms in its totals, casting doubt on the data. There are now 523,163 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The move by Beijing to block arrivals by foreign nationals, announced by China’s foreign ministry on Thursday, will prevent entry by almost all holders of visas and residence permits starting from Saturday. A small number of diplomatic visa holders would be exempt, the ministry said.