Coronavirus latest: German health ministry casts doubt on AstraZeneca vaccine reports

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Peter Wells in New York

US coronavirus hospitalisations on Monday dipped below 110,000 for the first time in six weeks, with a majority of states exhibiting downward trends in patients being treated.

The number of people currently in US hospitals with coronavirus fell to 109,936 from 110,628 on Sunday, according to Covid Tracking Project data. That is the lowest number of patients since December 13.

That trend is being led by California. Hospitalisations in the most populous state in the US dropped by more than 2,000 over the past day to 18,347, which was the lowest level since December 21.

However there are encouraging signs, more broadly, around the country. Kansas and Vermont were the only two states with a higher number of patients than a week ago, according to a Financial Times analysis of Covid Tracking Project data.

A further 1,593 deaths were attributed to coronavirus, down from 1,944 on Sunday, and the fewest since the 1,395 reported on Monday last week.

Over the past week, the US has averaged 3,076 deaths a day. That is down about 8 per cent from its peak in mid-January, but is still at an elevated level.

An additional 133,067 new infections were reported by states, down from 143,691 on Sunday and the fewest since December 25. The US has averaged 165,035 cases a day over the past week, which is the lowest the rate has been since December 2.

Figures on Monday tend to be lower than other days of the week due to weekend delays in reporting, but many states appeared to continue to experience an easing in their trends.