• AFP-JIJI

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The United States has now recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, Johns Hopkins University reported Wednesday — a somber milestone and by far the highest total in the world.

The country reported its first death about three months ago. Since then, nearly 1.7 million infections have been tallied nationwide, according to the Baltimore-based school.

The actual number of deaths and infections is believed to be higher, experts say.

In the last 24 hours, the death toll was on the rise once again, with 1,401 deaths added after three straight days of tolls under 700. The full death toll stood at 100,396.

The state of New York has seen nearly a third of all coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, where President Donald Trump ordered that flags fly at half-staff last weekend to honor the victims.

The first U.S. virus death was reported on Feb. 26, though officials now say they believe that others may have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, before that.

The country passed the threshold of 50,000 deaths barely more than a month ago.

The number of deaths per capita in the United States is nevertheless lower than in several European countries, including Britain, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain.

Despite the grim toll, most U.S. states are now moving towards ending the strict stay-at-home measures that were implemented to curb the spread of the virus.

Trump, who is running for re-election in November, is eager to stem the economic pain of the lockdown, which has left tens of millions of Americans without jobs.

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