US President Trump says coronavirus measures such as social distancing will be extended across the country until at least 30 April.
He had previously suggested that they could be relaxed as early as Easter, which falls in mid-April.
“The highest point of the death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” Mr. Trump said.
He appeared to be referring to peak infection rates that it is feared could overwhelm hospitals.
White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci had earlier warned that the virus could kill up to 200,000 Americans.
Dr. Fauci said that it was “entirely conceivable” that millions of Americans could eventually be infected. The US now has more than 140,000 confirmed cases.
As of Sunday evening, 2,489 deaths had been recorded in the country in relation to Covid-19, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States overtook both China and Italy last week in the number of reported cases.
More than 30,000 people are now confirmed to have died worldwide after being infected with the new coronavirus.
Some of the latest major global developments include:
- Spain recorded a new daily record of deaths, reporting 838 victims on Sunday. New restrictions also came into force in the country, meaning that all non-essential workers should stay at home for the next 11 days.
- In the UK, a further 209 people were confirmed to have died over 24 hours, raising the death toll to 1,228. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that things would get worse before they got better.
- Australia tightened its restrictions on movement. Public gatherings are now limited to just two people. Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and parks are closed from Monday.
- Italy recorded 756 new deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 10,779. This is a slight drop in the daily number of people dying.
- France reported 292 new deaths, bringing its total to 2,606. Specially modified trains have begun transporting patients from the worst-hit areas in the east of the country to hospitals in the south.
- South Korea‘s President Moon Jae-in said emergency cash payments will be made to all households except the top 30% by income.
Source: BBC News