20:53 GMT31 October 2020
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    The number of COVID-related American deaths surpassed 80,000 on Monday, as US President Donald Trump announced an additional $11 billion in support to US states, territories and tribal governments to aid COVID-19 testing.

    As of Monday afternoon, there have been 80,087 coronavirus-related deaths and more than 1.3 million confirmed cases in the US, according to the latest data by Johns Hopkins University.

    New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts and California face the highest numbers of infections. The death toll increase comes as Trump announced an additional $11 billion in aid to help contain the disease outbreak. However, the US death toll continues to increase as dozens of states begin to lift lockdown measures and ease social distancing rules.

    Trump on Monday told reporters at the White House that the US has already conducted 9 million tests for the novel coronavirus. He confirmed that 300,000 tests are being conducted daily - a doubling of testing capacity in the last few weeks. On Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that it had authorized a COVID-19 antigen test, which it described as a "new category of tests for use in the ongoing pandemic." 

    "These diagnostic tests quickly detect fragments of proteins found on or within the virus by testing samples collected from the nasal cavity using swabs," the FDA explained in a news release.

    "Antigen tests will play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 and we will continue to offer support and expertise to help with the development of accurate tests, and to review and monitor marketed tests to ensure accuracy, while balancing the urgent need for these critical diagnostics," the FDA added.

    A forecasting model by researchers at the University of Washington estimated Sunday that more than 137,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19 by early August.

    “The increase is explained primarily by people’s movements, as captured in anonymous mobility data from cellphones,” Dr. Christopher Murray, the director of the university's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said in a May 10 news release.

    Globally, more than 4 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed, and more than 284,000 people have died as a result.


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