When COVID-19 was discovered in China the city of Wuhan quickly became the epicentre. Now a US city has taken the mantle.

An expert has deemed Miami, Florida the new epicentre of the world's coronavirus pandemic, drawing comparisons to the Chinese city of Wuhan where Covid-19 originated.

More than 2000 coronavirus patients have been hospitalised and hundreds are in intensive care units across the city and more than 64,000 infections have already been confirmed.

"Miami is now the epicentre of the pandemic," Jackson Health System infectious disease expert Lilian Abbo told reporters during a press conference.


"What we were seeing in Wuhan – six months ago, five months ago – now we are there."

America's top virus expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, blamed Florida moving out of lockdown before public health indicators justified such a step as the reason for Miami's surging infections.

Images quickly emerged of pool parties, packed bars and holiday celebrations when Florida began rolling back restrictions.

"The way that we've acted after our initial lockdowns has perpetuated the problem," Florida International University infectious disease expert, Dr Aileen Marty, told BBC.

"It was a failure because they didn't do it right the first time."

Officials reported 123 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, a new record. The highest daily total previously was 120 deaths on July 9.

Covid-19 was first identified in Wuhan in December last year. The city was forced into a 76-day lockdown in January and by the middle of April there were more than 50,000 infections.

Miami-Dade County has surged past that number with more than 64,000 infections and rising.


There has also been increases in the number of Covid-19 patients being hospitalised, in ICU and using ventilators.

Hospitals across the state have reached capacity for their ICU wards.

Florida recently registered a record breaking 15,299 coronavirus cases in a single day.

The daily increase smashes the previous record for a US state previously held by New York of 12,274 cases on April 4.


States across the US are doing a hard reverse on opening up, instead going back into lockdown.


It comes as the US total passes more than 3.4 million cases. There have been 136,000 deaths linked to the virus in America.

Florida is currently overrun with Covid 19. Photo / AP
Florida is currently overrun with Covid 19. Photo / AP

California reversed its reopening on Monday as virus infections in the state surge.

State Governor Gavin Newsom said restaurants, zoos, casinos, cinemas and wineries would no longer be able to open indoors. Bars will also have to close.

In 30 counties — where 80 per cent of Californian residents live — gyms, places of worship, non-essential offices, hairdressers and shopping malls will have to close again.

"We're going back into modification mode of our original stay at home order," Newsom said. "This continues to be a deadly disease."

Schools in Los Angeles and San Diego, where more than 825,000 children attend, will not return to face-to-face teaching when the school year begins next month.


California currently records about 8000 new cases a day – more than double what it was the previous month.

Georgia also rolled back its reopening after an alarming surge of cases in Atlanta.

"Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences," Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Florida's governor Ron DeSantis ordered an end to the state's lockdown on May 4, well before most other states.

In a partial reversal in late June, DeSantis ordered bars to be closed again.