President Donald Trump has warned US coronavirus restrictions could stay in place until at least 30 April, extending measures such as social distancing.
Trump had previously hinted at relaxing US coronavirus rules by Easter, which arrives on 12 April, to revive the economy.
The US now counts 140,000 coronavirus cases, while 2,493 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.
Trump told citizens yesterday that the US “will be well on our way to recovery” by June. And he suggested the country will see its “death rate” peak in around two weeks’ time.
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before victory is won – that would eb the greatest loss of all,” Trump added.
And White House adviser Dr Anthony Fauci warned coronavirus could kill 200,000 US citizens, and infect millions more.
The US’ number of coronavirus cases overtook China and Italy last week as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned the country could be the world’s new outbreak epicentre.
Trump said he extended US social distancing measures after he was told 2.2m people could otherwise have died.
But analysts pointed out that the extension has ruined the President’s hopes of restarting the US economy by Easter.
Swissquote Bank senior analyst, Ipek Ozkardeskaya, said the new infection figures were responsible for “shattering Donald Trump’s hopes of seeing the economy getting back to a better shape before mid-April”.
He has previously called Easter a “beautiful” time to reopen some sections of the US economy, but yesterday backtracked on that by calling the aim “just an aspiration”.
More than 33,000 people across the world have now died from coronavirus.
Australia has also tightened restrictions on public gatherings, limiting them to just two people. And South Korea will make emergency cash payments to all households except the top 30 per cent of earners.
Spain told all non-essential workers to stay at home for the next 11 days,. And the UK revealed around 20,000 former NHS workers have returned to bolster the battle against coronavirus.