Biden signs 10 executive orders as part of 'wartime' Covid plan

President Joe Biden has signed a raft of executive orders to boost the fight against Covid which has ravaged the US.

Vaccination will be accelerated and testing increased. Emergency legislation will be used to increase production of essentials like masks.

Announcing the 10 measures, Mr Biden said it would take months to defeat the pandemic but America would "get through this" if people stood together.

The moves come a day after Mr Biden was sworn in as the 46th president.

In a break with former President Donald Trump, the policy stresses a national strategy rather than relying on states to decide what is best.

The Trump administration was widely accused of failing to get to grips with the pandemic.

In terms of total deaths from coronavirus, the US is the worst-hit country with more than 406,000 lives lost, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 24.5 million have been infected.

'Wartime undertaking'

Mr Biden said that the "bold practical steps" that he was taking would not come cheaply.

"Let me be clear - things will continue to get worse before they get better," he said, adding that he expected the number of dead to top half a million by next month.