A pastor has died from coronavirus after claiming “god is larger than this dreaded virus”.

Bishop Gerald Glenn died just days after testing positive for Covid-19.

Before he was diagnosed with the virus, Glenn addressed a congregation New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Richmond, Virginia.

The state banned gatherings of ten or more people 24 hours later.

Glenn had diverticulitis, which inflames the intestines, according to daughter Mar-Gerie Crawley, who said it was not unusual for him to have fevers.

But his health worsened last Sunday and was put on a ventilator in hospital.

“They did the COVID-19 test on him and we got it back that day and it was positive,”  Crawley told local station WVTVR.

Glenn passed away on Saturday night. Mar-Gerie is now calling on people to stay indoors.

“It becomes very real to you,” she said. “I just beg people to understand the severity and the seriousness of this, because people are saying it’s not just about us, it’s about everyone around us.”

Glenn’s wife, Marcietia, has also tested positive for the virus. The US overtook Italy on Saturday with the highest number of coronavirus deaths.

More than 21,600 have died from the disease in the country, with 551,000 confirmed cases.

The US also become the first country in the world to report more than 2,000  coronavirus  deaths in a single day.