The US passed Italy on Saturday to record the highest death toll in the world from the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The university's running tally counted 19,882 deaths and 514,415 cases as the US struggles to curb the outbreak. A total of 29,347 people have recovered from the disease.

As of Saturday, Italy had 19,468 deaths, according to the university data.

New York is the state worst-hit by the pandemic, with more than 6,367 deaths.

The US is also the country with the most confirmed coronavirus infections in the world, followed by Spain, Italy, and France.

Since the virus emerged last December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, it has spread to at least 185 countries and regions.

There are more than 1.75 million confirmed infections worldwide and some 108,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. Over 395,000 people have recovered.