Mass burials in New York as US records over 2,000 deaths in a day
11 April 2020, 08:47 | Updated: 11 April 2020, 08:59
Images have emerged of mass graves being dug in New York as the US becomes the first country to record more than 2,000 coronavirus-related deaths in a day.
Drone footage showed workers wearing full hazmat suits while stacking wooden coffins into trenches on Hart Island in New York state.
The site has been used for more than 150 years for mass burials, but operations have increased from one day a week to five days a week, with around 24 burials each day.
Meanwhile, a total of 2,108 coronavirus-related fatalities were recorded in the space of 24 hours in the US.
The country now holds the record for the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in a day, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.
In addition, the number of infections across the nation surpassed the half-million mark with New York now having more cases than any single country across the globe.
State officials confirmed that burials will be increasing at the Hart Island site which has previously been used to lay to rest those with no next-of-kin and who cannot afford a funeral.
New York's number of confirmed infections now stands at more than 160,000 - of whom almost 8,000 have died - which is more cases than both Spain and Italy.
The number of people to die in the US after contracting coronavirus now stands just short of 19,000, meaning the country is second to only Italy across the globe.
America now has almost as many confirmed cases of Covid-19 as the next four worst-hit countries combined - Spain (158,000), Italy (147,000), Germany (122,000) and France (112,000).
The data is clear: Our collective national effort is saving many lives. Keep up the fight! pic.twitter.com/MMk1BpwDpg— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 10, 2020
However, experts on the White House Covid-19 task force have suggested the epidemic is starting to plateau across the US.
Dr Deborah Birx said there were good signs the outbreak was stabilising but warned: "As encouraging as they are, we have not reached the peak."
President Donald Trump also said he expects the US to see a lower death toll than the initial predictions of 100,000 fatalities.
He added: "We're seeing clear signs that our aggressive strategy is saving countless lives."