Protesters march onto highway in US city. Image Source: IANS News

Washington, July 30 : Twenty-one US states have been placed in the government's "red zone" due to a massive surge in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to a new federal report.

Those states have been designated as in the "red zone", because they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the week ending July 24, reports Xinhua news agency.

The states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Currently, Vermont is the only state in the "green zone" category, with less than 10 cases per 100,000 people, according to the report released on Wednesday.

The remaining 28 states and the District of Columbia were placed in the "yellow zone".

The federal government prepares regular reports on the response to the coronavirus.

The report, dated July 26, which contained profiles of each state, were distributed to state officials by the White House's coronavirus task force and obtained by The New York Times.

The report has recommended that more restrictions be put in place in "red zone" states.

Mask mandates were consistently recommended for states and cities where the virus is spreading. Noting that Arizona, included in the "red zone," had seen cases growth slowing in recent days, the report credited the state for its "aggressive mitigation efforts of mask wearing, social distancing and closing bars".

The development comes as the US currently accounts for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities at 4,424,806 and 150,676, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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