The United States has entered one of the most critical weeks so far in the coronavirus crisis amid warnings of an increase in the death toll in various states.

Iran PressAmerica: “This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly,” US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned on Fox News on Sunday.

US government officials have warned that the death toll in places such as New York, Michigan, and Louisiana was a sign of trouble to come in other states.

Still, governors of eight states resisted issuing stay-at-home orders aimed at slowing the spread of the respiratory disease, and some churches held large Palm Sunday services in defiance of such orders in their states, Reuters reported.

New York, the hardest-hit state, reported on Sunday that for the first time in a week, deaths had fallen slightly from the day before, but there were still nearly 600 new fatalities and more than 7,300 new cases. Places such as Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington, D.C., are starting to see rising deaths.

New York City's hospitals have been overwhelmed with coronavirus cases and are struggling to respond to patients streaming in. A shortage of personal protective equipment has also placed medical workers at risk of contracting the virus.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that new hospitalizations had fallen by 50% over the previous 24 hours. He cautioned that it was not yet clear whether the crisis was reaching a plateau in the state, which has a total of 4,159 deaths and more than 122,000 cases.

Most states have ordered residents to stay home except for essential trips to slow the spread of the virus in the United States, where more than 335,000 people have tested positive and over 9,500 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

The US coronavirus death toll is now more than triple that of the 9/11 attacks, with almost half of the known pandemic-related deaths in New York.

The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leading member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday the US is "struggling" the get the novel coronavirus outbreak under control and warned Americans to prepare for the upcoming week "to be a bad week."

There are at least 331,151 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest tally of cases. At least 9,441 people have died in the nation from the virus.

The COVID-19 global pandemic that has swept into at least 208 countries, has infected around 1,266,000 and killed nearly 70,000 people. More than 260,000 have recovered from the disease so far.

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