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People's Daily Online

Over 41,000 test positive for COVID-19 in U.S.

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:33, March 24, 2020

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that 313,000 coronavirus tests have been completed in the United States, and more than 41,000 tests were positive.

During a White House press briefing, Pence said all state and hospital labs are now required to report their coronavirus test numbers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will distribute 8 million N95 masks, and that personal protective equipment for medical professionals is being shipped to "hotspots" around the country.

According to Trump, 73 pallets of personal protective equipment will be shipped to New York, and 36 pallets will be sent to the Washington state -- two areas hit hard by COVID-19.

Trump said he had signed an executive order to prohibit hoarding of medical equipment and supplies used for treating and preventing coronavirus.

Pence said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved self-collected samples for COVID-19 testing, adding it would reduce the strain on medical supplies and professionals.

He said the FDA has also been asked to pursue "less invasive methods of testing" after both Pence and Trump endured their own tests, which require deep nasal swabs.

"I'm pleased to report that self-collected swabs can now be collected in clinics and drive-through testing sites," Pence said, adding that asking doctors to perform the swabs creates a "drain on personal protective equipment."

While speaking on NBC Monday morning, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams expressed his concern on the worsening situation this week.

"I want America to understand -- this week, it's going to get bad," Adams said, adding that some people have not been properly practicing social distancing.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has topped 43,667 as of 20:00 Eastern Standard Time Monday (0100 GMT on Tuesday), with 557 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

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