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US registers more than 2,400 Covid deaths in 24 hours

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTONThe US on Wednesday registered more than 2,400 deaths from Covid-19 in 24 hours, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally - the highest daily toll in six months as the Thanksgiving holiday began.

So far, the country had recorded a total of 262,080 deaths, up by 2,439 in 24 hours. It also registered nearly 200,000 new cases.

Travel appeared to be down the night before Thanksgiving, when Americans usually travel to be with family and friends for a feast on Thursday, marking one of their most important national holidays.

In recent days, images on social media of crowded airports fuelled concerns that Americans were not taking the warnings seriously. But one day before yesterday's celebrations, officials and passengers in Los Angeles noted an eerie quiet compared with previous years.

The US Supreme Court late on Wednesday backed Christian and Jewish houses of worship challenging New York state's latest restrictions in virus hot spots.

The court on a 5-4 vote granted requests made by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish congregations.

The order marked one of the first consequential actions on the court of President Donald Trump's new appointee, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast a deciding vote in favour of the religious groups.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court's three liberals.

Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden pleaded with Americans to take steps to remain safe over the Thanksgiving holiday.

He gave a presidential-style speech acknowledging people's fatigue with restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic but urged them to exercise caution as caseloads surge.

"I know the country has grown weary of the fight. We need to remember - we're at war with the virus, not with one another," Mr Biden said as he urged Americans to forgo the type of big family gatherings normally associated with the holiday, wear masks and maintain social distancing.

He said he hoped the recent positive news on vaccine development - the first shots potentially could be made available to some Americans within weeks - would serve as an incentive for people to take simple steps to get the virus under control. - AFP, REUTERS

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