US President Donald Trump has warned Americans to brace for a "very horrendous" number of coronavirus deaths in the coming days.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States has surpassed 300,000.
More than 8,300 people with the infection have died.
Speaking at a White House briefing, President Trump said the US was entering "a time that's going to be very horrendous" with "some really bad numbers".
He said: "This will probably be the toughest week, there will be a lot of death."
At the same time, Mr Trump said the US could not remain shut down forever.
"Mitigation does work but again, we're not going to destroy our country.
"I've said it from the beginning - the cure cannot be worse than the problem.
"At a certain point some hard decisions are going to have to be made."
He has ordered the deployment of 1,000 medical military personnel to New York City to help combat the spread of the worst outbreak of the virus in the US.
New York state, the US epicentre, today reported a further 594 deaths from coronavirus and 8,327 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.
This increases the death toll there to 4,159 with 122,000 cases since the outbreak began, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
But he said there was good news in that the number of people discharged from the hospital was three times as great as the number of newly hospitalised people, relieving stress on thehealthcare system.
Mr Trump said 1,000 military personnel, mostly doctors and nurses, would be deployed to help in the city, which he described as "the hottest of all the hot spots."
Europe continues to bear the brunt of the global coronavirus pandemic, however, accounting for more than 45,000 of the worldwide deaths.
There are now more than 1.17 million confirmed cases around the world and there have been 63,437 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.
Billions of people are living under some form of lockdown.
Roughly half the planet is confined at home with schools and businesses closed, at huge cost to the global economy.
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