New York state reports most coronavirus cases in world, overtaking Spain

New York state on Wednesday reported the most coronavirus cases in the world, overtaking Spain, according to a Reuters tally.

The U.S. state has 149,316 reported cases compared with Spain at 146,690. Italy is now in third place with 139,422 cases reported on Wednesday. In total, the United States has recorded over 417,000 cases and 14,100 deaths, according to the Reuters tally.

The United States was prepared this week for what one official called the "peak death week" of the coronavirus and saw a record 1,900 new deaths on Tuesday.

European countries, including hardest-hit Italy and Spain, have started looking ahead to easing lockdowns but their coronavirus-related fatality rates have fluctuated after initially showing a decline.

Spain's official coronavirus death toll edged higher again on Wednesday but officials say the epidemic is in a slowdown phase.

Italy imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 9 to slow the spread of the virus and Spain followed on March 14. New York state required all residents to stay home except for essential business on March 20 and now more than 94% of Americans are under similar orders.

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