US: New York Governor declares state of emergency over coronavirusLast updated on Mar 08, 2020, 11:50 am
In the United States, Governor of New York State Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Saturday amid growing concern over a novel coronavirus outbreak.
Cuomo said that the move would help the state better tackle the viral outbreak, which has left over 3,500 dead worldwide.
In New York, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 89 on Saturday.
Emergency declaration to expedite supply purchase, hiring in health departments
Speaking at a press conference in Albany, Cuomo said that the declaration of emergency will expedite the purchasing of supplies and hiring of workers to assist local health departments.
If necessary, the declaration would also help authorities skirt purchasing regulations, he said.
In New York, 89 confirmed cases have been reported. As of Friday, 4,000 people had been asked to self-quarantine in the state.
Coronavirus in US
In US, coronavirus leaves 19 dead; over 400 infected
Across the US, the confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surged to 429. The death toll also rose to 19, including 15 deaths in Washington's King County alone.
A cruise ship anchored off the coast of San Francisco, California, has over 3,000 people quarantined.
At least 21 passengers on the Grand Princess cruise have reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Doubts over Trump administration's capability to contain outbreak
Controversially, US President Donald Trump said that he preferred if the Grand Princess passengers remain on the cruise.
"I like the numbers being where they are," he said.
Trump also said that there were enough coronavirus testing kits available, even as his own Vice President, Mike Pence, said the kits available did not meet medical demand.
Cuomo said Saturday, "That has caused consternation, anxiety."
What is the coronavirus outbreak?
The current outbreak involves a new strain of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.
The disease caused by the virus, COVID-19, is noted to cause respiratory problems.
Symptoms include breathing difficulties, coughing, pneumonia, etc.
The virus, which emerged in China's Wuhan city, has infected over 1 lakh people across the globe and caused 3,594 deaths.
China remains the worst affected in the outbreak.