Coronavirus US live: Trump tells Americans to take unproven anti-malaria drug

11.36pm BST

With New Orleans having emerged as one of the national hotspots in the coronavirus outbreak, Louisiana state medical officials are preparing for Monday’s re-opening of the Ernest N Morial Convention Center as a makeshift, 1,000-bed medical support facility to ease the strain on local hospitals.

Dr Joseph Kanter, the assistant state health officer, said the field hospital could double its capacity to 2,000 beds by the end of the month if necessary, saying: “This isn’t even halfway over – it is not time to let up.

Standing in a convention hall housing a football field’s worth of white tents, nurses’ stations and portable handwashing basins, Kanter cast a quick glance around and said, “How great would it be if we didn’t need half this?”

The number of state residents stricken with Covid-19 jumped Saturday to 12,946, an increase of about 2,200 from the previous day. The New Orleans area continues to be the epicenter of the outbreak in Louisiana, with 3,966 known cases and 154 deaths reported out of Orleans Parish.

11.09pm BST

In concluding the daily briefing, Trump says we are approaching a “horrendous” time in the outbreak across the United States.

“We are getting to that time where the numbers are going to peak and it is not going to be a good-looking situation,” the president says. “I really believe we’ve probably have never seen anything like these kind of numbers. Maybe during the war, during a world war, a world war one or two or something. But this is a war, all into itself, and it’s a terrible thing.”

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