Washington, United States:
The United States passed nine million reported coronavirus cases on Friday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, as infections spike days before the nation chooses its next president.
The country, which has seen a resurgence of its Covid-19 outbreak since mid-October, has now charted 9,007,298 cases, according to a real-time count by the Baltimore-based school.
More than 229,000 people have died of the virus in the US since the pandemic began, the Hopkins tally showed as of Friday afternoon.
The virus is currently spreading most rampantly in the Midwest and on Thursday the US set a record for new daily infections of more than 91,000 in 24 hours.
But New York and other parts of the northeast are also seeing a worrying rise in infections as cooler fall weather sets in.
With four days to go until the election, Donald Trump is battling to hold on to the White House against challenger Joe Biden, who has slammed the president’s virus response.
Trump downplays the virus even as the toll has been accelerating once more, holding a slew of rallies with little social distancing or mask use.
He has repeatedly told supporters that the country is “rounding the curve” on Covid infections.