President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the coronavirus outbreak is as under control as it can get in the United States, where more than 155,000 people have died amid a patchy response to the public health crisis that has failed to stem a rise in cases.

In an interview with the Axios news website, Trump said,  “They are dying, that’s true”, adding, “It is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague.”

On Tuesday, the United States has reported 1,302 deaths from novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The world’s largest economy also added 53,847 new cases of the virus, the Baltimore-based institution’s tracker showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Wednesday).

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro has minimized the gravity of the pandemic and opposed lockdown measures, even as he and several of his cabinet tested positive for the virus.

During a press conference at the White House, Trump earlier said, “We’re seeing indications that our strong mitigation efforts are working very well, actually, especially to protect those who are most at risk”.

Even in parts of the world that had appeared to have curbed the spread of the virus, countries have recently seen single-day records in new cases, signaling the battle is far from over.

Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Uzbekistan and Israel all recently had record increases in cases.