Confirmed U.S cases exceeds 2 million

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The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the US, which is by far the worst-affected country worldwide, passed 2 million on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, which lists 2,000,464 cases.

The country has recorded 112,908 deaths.

Brazil, with the next highest number of cases, has 772,416 confirmed infections.

Many will be watching the daily case numbers from the US anxiously for the next few weeks, as the effects of relaxed restrictions – and Memorial Day weekend, which saw large crowds in parts of the country – as well as the recent protests are expected to be seen.

It is still possibly too early to determine whether the protests have lead to a spike, despite many protestors wearing masks and practicing other social distancing measures.

Nine California counties have reported a spike in new coronavirus cases or hospitalisations. New diagnoses in the heavily populated Los Angeles area are going up in part because testing is more widely available.

But officials say infections and hospitalisations in most other parts of the state are being driven by factors tied directly to the loosening of restrictions or overt flouting of public health rules.