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Worldwide coronavirus cases top 4 million

More than 40 states begin to reopen
More than 40 states begin to reopen 02:37

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the globe surpassed 4 million on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The numbers come nearly 90 days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a "pandemic" on March 11, when there were 118,000 confirmed cases and 4,000 had died. 

The worldwide death toll topped 277,000 on Saturday, with the United States recording more than 78,000 deaths, the highest of any country in the world. There have been at least 1.3 million cases of the coronavirus in the U.S.

On Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration announced emergency authorization for antigen tests, which it said will be key for reopening the country. The test can rapidly detect fragments of virus proteins in samples collected from swabs swiped inside the nasal cavity, the FDA said in a statement. 

The death toll in hard-hit Italy surpassed 30,000 on Saturday, the third-highest death toll in the world behind the U.S. and the U.K., where more than 31,000 people had died as of Saturday. Italy, the first country to enact lockdown measures, has begun to ease some restrictions this week. Italians can now exercise outside their home — as long as they follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask — and they can visit friends in their region. Catholic Mass is expected to start again May 18.

But coronavirus commissioner Angelo Borrelli warned the public that containment measures would "be stiffened" if the virus showed signs of taking off again, BBC News reports. "We are monitoring things carefully," he said Thursday.

Giuseppe Sala, the mayor of Milan, issued an "ultimatum" Friday after footage emerged showing crowds of people not wearing face masks or practicing social distancing in the city's popular Navigli area. Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region, was the epicenter of the Italian outbreak. 

"I will take measures, I will close the Navigli," Sala said, describing the scenes as "disgraceful."

In France, which is set to begin lifting its two-month-long lockdown measures Monday, another 80 people died Saturday from the coronavirus, a drop from Friday's death toll of 243. 

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