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There's signs of hope amid the grief and pain: Trump

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Optimistic note: US President Donald Trump is weighing options. Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Optimistic note: US President Donald Trump is weighing options. Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Optimistic note: US President Donald Trump is weighing options. Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

US president Donald Trump is bemoaning the "horrible" number of Americans who have died due to the coronavirus, while pointing to signs of hope.

Mr Trump says "in the midst of grief and pain" the country is seeing "clear signs that our aggressive strategy" is working.

That includes a decrease in hospital admissions in some places.

Mr Trump's comments come on the same day as Johns Hopkins University's worldwide death toll hit 100,000.

Mr Trump, who is now weighing when to reopen the country's economy, is pointing to models that are now forecasting US death rates far lower than originally estimated.

"We're saving so many lives compared to what it could have been," he said.

But experts warn that reopening the country too soon could cause a devastating new spike in infections.

Meanwhile the epidemic remains in a "dangerous phase" a senior government scientist has warned as the UK recorded its highest daily death toll.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the daily No 10 news conference that as of Thursday there had been 8,958 hospital deaths from the disease - an increase of 980 on the previous day.

As ministers and officials urged the public to stay at home over the Easter bank holiday weekend, the deputy chief scientific adviser, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said it was "premature" to say the outbreak had reached its peak.

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"We are in a dangerous phase still. And I need to reinforce that again to you, that this is not over," he said.

"It's premature to say we are at a peak and the push we are making with social distancing just has to continue."

In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has extended a nationwide lockdown and suspension of non-essential industrial production for another three weeks.

Mr Conte said in a nationally broadcast address that the sacrifices being made "were having results", and that for this reason "we cannot render vain the efforts taken. If we give in, we risk that all the positive results could be lost.

"It would be a great frustration for all, and we would have to start again, also with an increase in the number of dead."

The extension comes as the number of people in Italian hospitals and intensive care wards eases and the growth in the number of new cases and deaths narrows.

Hundreds of staff at a hospital near the Spanish capital Madrid gathered to pay homage to a 57-year-old nurse who died yesterday after contracting the Covid-19 disease.

In a post on social media, the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes said the nurse died "after days of fighting relentlessly against the illness".

Dressed in protective robes and wearing masks, the medical personnel broke into applause while the sirens of ambulances wailed.

A sign hanging from a window read: "Esteban, always with us."

Medical workers amount for roughly 15pc of all contagions in Spain, which rose yesterday to 157,000 confirmed infections. At least 15,800 people have died since the epidemic hit the country.

France's national health agency is noticing a slight slowdown of the spreading of the virus in the country, which has reported the fourth-highest number of deaths from Covid-19 in the world.

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland


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