US first nation to exceed 10m COVID cases

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The United States has become the first nation to surpass 10 million coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters tally, as the third wave of the COVID-19 virus surges across the nation.

The grim milestone came on the same day as global coronavirus cases exceeded 50 million.

The US has reported about one million cases in the past 10 days, the highest rate of infections since the nation reported its first case in Washington state 293 days ago.

The country reported a record 131,420 cases on Saturday and has reported over 100,000 infections four times in the past seven days, according to a Reuters tally.

The US latest reported seven-day average of 105,600 daily cases, ramped up by at least 29 per cent, is more than the combined average for India and France, two of the worst affected countries in Asia and Europe.

More than 237,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since the illness caused by the coronavirus first emerged in China late last year.

The daily average of reported new deaths in the US account for one in every 11 deaths reported worldwide each day, according to a Reuters analysis.

The number of reported deaths nationwide climbed by more than 1000 for a fifth consecutive day on Saturday, a trend last seen in mid-August, according to a Reuters tally.

Health experts say deaths tend to increase four to six weeks after a surge in infections.

US president-elect Joe Biden, who spent much of his election campaign criticising President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic, pledged on Saturday to make tackling the pandemic a top priority.

Biden will announce a 12-member task force on Monday to deal with the pandemic that will be led by former surgeon general Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler.

The task force will be charged with developing a blueprint for containing the disease once Biden takes office in January.

The Midwest remains the hardest-hit region based on the most cases per capita with North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska the top five worst-affected US states.

Texas, which accounts for 10 per cent of total US cases, is the hardest-hit state and became the first to surpass one million cases on Saturday.

New York, with over 33,000 fatalities, remains the state with highest number of deaths and accounts for about 14 per cent of total US deaths.

The US performed about 10.5 million tests in the first seven days of November, of which 6.22 per cent came back positive, compared with 6.17 per cent the prior seven-days, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.