The United States now leads the world in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

According to a running count by Johns Hopkins University, the number of people infected in the US topped 82,000 on Thursday.

That is just ahead of the 81,000 cases in China, and 80,000 in Italy.

Italy has the most confirmed deaths of any country with more than 8,000. More than 1,000 people have died in the US.

Stay-at-home measures in New York city have left the inner city deserted. Credit: AP

In New York, the state’s death toll jumped by 100 in one day, pushing the number to 385, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

He added that experts expect the number to increase as critically ill patients who have been on ventilators for several days succumb to the virus.

“That is a situation where people just deteriorate over time,” Cuomo said.

The New York Governor had previosuly warned the coronavirus outbreak in the state is spreading like "a bullet train".

The US leader is adamant the country will get back to work in just days. Credit: AP

But despite the rising number of cases, the US President is keen to see the country go back to work as soon as possible.

His presidency has rested on the economy staying strong, with an election looming it's a boast he's keen to maintain.

In a notable change of tune from previous days, Mr Trump rolled over on telling Americans to employ social distancing for 15 days, including staying home from work and closing entertainment venues to stop the spread of the disease.

He has grumbled that "our country wasn’t built to be shut down" and vowed not to allow "the cure be worse than the problem."

In a Thursday evening press conference, he said: "We have to get back to work, our people want to get back to work. They want to go back, we have to go back. We're going to be talking about dates, we're going to be talking with a lot of great professionals.

"This is a country that was built on getting it done and our people want to go back to work. I'm hearing it loud and clear from everybody."

He promised Americans would have an answer start next week, he said people would be practising social distancing "as much as they can".

As ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore writes, Mr Trump has been receiving multiple warnings from his medical advisers and from epidemiologists that the coronavirus grip on the US is only just beginning.

Mr Trump has spoken to the Chinese leader, President Xi, in a bid to improve relations between the two countries. It comes after he asserted the "foreign virus" came from the Asian country.

Following the conversation, he tweeted: Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet.

"China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!"

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know