Coronavirus live news: US infections outnumber China as global cases pass 500,000

China closes borders; UK records biggest daily rise in deaths; South Africa enters military-patrolled lockdown. Follow the latest updates.

More US news now.

president Donald Trump said he will speak by phone with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later Thursday as the United States overtook China as the country with the most coronavirus cases.

US president Donald Trump again struggled to reassure a fearful nation on Thursday as it emerged the US now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world.

News that America had surpassed virus hotspots China and Italy with 82,404 cases of infection, according to a tracker run by Johns Hopkins University, broke as the president was holding a press conference at the White House.

Certainly not in this country. Nobody’s fault. We got very lucky when we made a decision not to allow people in from China on a very early date. I say that because some people don’t want to accept it, but this was a great decision made by our country, or the numbers that you’re talking about – we’re a big country – they’d be far greater, far bigger.”

Related: US surpasses China for highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world

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