Los Angeles, Jan 9 (IANS) Los Angeles County, the most populous in the US, reported 318 new coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, marking the first time that the single-day fatality count increased by more than 300.
The new fatalities on Friday increased the county-wide coronavirus death toll to 11,863, reports Xinhua news agency.
In comparison, an average of 170 people die of all other causes in the county every day and the number is higher than any other single yearly premature deaths, including heart disease.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made another staggering comparison on Thursday when talking about 259 related deaths in the county on Tuesday, saying the number was "more than all the homicides in 2019 in LA City combined".
The county reported 18,313 new coronavirus cases on Friday, one of the highest daily figure, bringing the overall tally since the start of the pandemic to 889,405.
Los Angeles Public Health Chief Science Officer Paul Simon told Friday's online press conference that the number reported was not a surprise as the authority had predicted that a new surge in infections would come two weeks after Christmas.
"This very clearly is the latest surge for the winter holidays and New Year's," said Simon.
"And it's likely to continue over the next week or two. We do expect these numbers continue to be high over the next couple of weeks," he added.