WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Sunday (Mar 29) that the peak death rate in the United States from the coronavirus pandemic was likely to hit in two weeks and extended “social distancing” guidelines until Apr 30.

“Easter should be the peak number,” Trump said of the Christian holiday which falls on Apr 12.

“The modelling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” the president said during a briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House.

“It should start coming down – and hopefully very substantially – from that point,” he said.

Trump said that he was extending the government’s “social distancing” guidelines until Apr 30 to “slow the spread” of the virus, which has infected nearly 140,000 in the United States and left more than 2,400 dead.

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” he said.

“It’s very important that every one strongly follow the guidelines.”

READ: US coronavirus deaths could reach 200,000, Fauci warns

Trump also said he expects the country “will be well on our way to recovery” by Jun 1 – dropping his previous target of Easter.

He said there would be an “important” announcement on Tuesday about the government’s plans and strategy going forward.

“On Tuesday, we will be finalising these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data and strategy to the American people,” he said.

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