The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US has surged tenfold in a week to over 50,000, but the number of actual cases in the country is likely significantly higher, officials have acknowledged.
The total number of global COVID-19 cases now stands at 407,485 as of Tuesday, and at least 18,200 of those have been fatal, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the US, the virus has infected at least 53,972 people and killed 728 as of March 24. Confirmed US cases stood at 5,000 just one week ago, increasing ten times in 7 days. On March 1, there were roughly 100 confirmed cases in the US.
However, officials have acknowledged that the number of actual cases in the US is likely significantly higher since testing in the country has been hindered by severe shortages of medical supplies and a restrictive diagnostic criteria that limited who could get tested.
President Donald Trump continued to downplay the exponential spread of the coronavirus across the US on Monday, comparing the rising death toll to the number of Americans killed in car crashes and by the seasonal flu.