The US now has the most coronavirus cases in the world, ahead of China and Italy 2 months ago

The US now has the most coronavirus cases in the world, ahead of China and Italy

The death toll rose to over 1,200 as of Thursday's figures.

The United States now has the highest number of known cases of coronavirus in the world with more than 82,000.

There have also been at least 1,200 deaths in the US linked to the virus.

As of Thursday evening, the United States had at least 82,100 cases, while China was reporting 81,782. There have been more than 510,000 Covid-19 cases reported worldwide.

New York is the worst hit region but there are growing fears about the spread of the virus in Louisiana, with experts believing last month's Mardi Gras celebrations could have contributed to the rise.

The number of deaths in the US took its biggest jump on Thursday with 246 deaths reported, bringing the total number to over 1,200.

Asked about the latest figures at a White House briefing on Thursday afternoon, President Trump said it was "a tribute to the amount of testing that we're doing".

Trump also called the numbers of China into question, telling reporters: "You don't know what the numbers are in China."

Although he later tweeted that he has been in contact with China's President Xi Jinping.

He reiterated his stance that the US has to get back to work quickly and set a goal of 12 April to have the country back to work, something which has drawn criticism from experts.

"[American people] have to go back to work, our country has to go back, our country is based on that and I think it's going to happen pretty quickly.

"We may take sections of our country, we may take large sections of our country that aren't so seriously affected and we may do it that way."

"A lot of people misinterpret when I say go back - they're going to be practising as much as you can social distancing, and washing your hands and not shaking hands and all of the things we talked about," he added.