THE NUMBER of new coronavirus cases in the US surpassed 35,000 yesterday making it the nation with the third-highest number of infections in the world, behind only Italy and China.

The death toll in the US from the Covid virus reached 471 — the sixth highest in the world.

Former White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert warned the latest reports indicate that the US is on track to lead the world in the number of Covid 19 cases by next week.

“Sadly, the numbers now suggest the US is poised to take the lead in coronavirus cases,” Mr Bossert tweeted. “It’s reasonable to plan for the US to top the list of countries with the most cases in approximately 1 week.”

The US surgeon general issued his starkest warning to date about the health risk posed warning that the crisis was "going to get bad" this week.

Health officials in the States say that coronavirus cases will rise as testing becomes more widely available.

The grim details emerged the day after US President Donald Trump approved the drafting of National Guard troops in the three states hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

HeraldScotland: Donald Trump

Troops will be used in New York, California and Washington to deliver medical aid and set up medical stations after the number of deaths nationwide rose to 573 and infections to 41,708.

The country’s top public health official, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, raised a warning as nearly one-third of Americans awoke to “stay at home orders.”

As of Sunday night, states with a population totaling more than 100 million people have imposed restrictions to curtail the virus, which has infected nearly 35,000 people and killed 428 in the US.

“This week it’s going to get bad,” said Mr Adams, adding there were more people out to see Washington’s famed annual cherry blossoms than there were blossoms. “This is how the spread is occurring. Everyone needs to be taking the right steps right now: stay home.”

Mr Trump imposed a 15-day national action plan a week ago urging Americans to follow the direction of the “stay at home” orders of state and local officials.

At the same time, he has also been far more optimistic than health experts have been about the prognosis for the outbreak while voicing concerns about the effect of shutting down large parts of the economy. “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” the president tweeted in all capital letters overnight. “At the end of the 15-day period, we will make a decision as to which way we want to go.”

Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve mounted an extraordinary new array of programs to offset the disruptions to the economy caused by the outbreak, backstopping an unprecedented range of credit for households, small businesses and major employers.

All 50 states have now reported confirmed cases of coronavirus. New York has the largest number of cases at nearly 17,000, after seeing a 37.4 percent spike Monday.

Washington state has the second-highest number of cases, at 1,996.

New York City’s mayor is preparing to order its 8.5 million people behind closed doors as it quickly becomes one of the world’s biggest coronavirus hotspots.

Bill de Blasio has called for masks and gowns to be provided as officials worldwide warn of a critical shortage of medical supplies.

He has asked President Donald Trump to have the US military take over the logistics of making and distributing medical supplies, while also requesting more doctors and other medics.

Mr de Blasio said: “I can’t be blunt enough. If the president doesn’t act, people will die who could have lived otherwise.”

He urged New York City to shut down at 5pm on Sunday except for essential services and workers.

Meanwhile, the top infectious disease expert in the US has promised critical supplies will not run out.

They will be “clearly directed to those hotspots that need it most”, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CBS’ Face The Nation.

But Dr Fauci and other emergency officials did not give hard figures on the number of masks or any other supplies on their way.

Andrew Cuomo governor of New York, where there have been 375 deaths, urged federal officials to step in quickly as hard-hit states outbid each other for ever scarcer supplies, sometimes doubling or tripling prices.

On Sunday, New York passed Washington state, the first US hotspot, in the number of fatal cases.

Negotiators from Congress and the White House have resumed top-level talks on a 1.4 trillion dollars (£1.2 trillion) economic rescue package for Washington, urged by President Donald Trump to strike a deal to steady a nation upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Trump appeared confident about the nation’s ability to defeat the pandemic soon even as health leaders acknowledged the US is nowhere near the peak of the outbreak.