Americans living in several states like California and New York are in turn confined due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The governor Gavin Newsom, (equivalent of a president for the State) decided Thursday evening to place in containment the whole of the State of the west coast and its 40 million inhabitants. He was followed Friday by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and followed by Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut.
These measures are more restrictive than those announced so far at the federal level. As of Friday, Donald Trump said he has no plans to place the entire country in containment. “I don’t think we will find it necessary one day,” he said at a press conference in the White House.
“It was made in California, it was done in New York, these are two hot spots (…) But if you go to the Midwest or elsewhere, they watch all this on television and do not have the same problems “, he added. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 14,600 cases of coronavirus have been identified in the United States and more than 200 people have died.
“It is time for all of us, as individuals and as a community, to recognize that we must do more” to stop the spread of Covid-19, said Gavin Newsom. The “interdependence” of Californians “requires that we order people to stay at home at the state level. This directive takes effect this (Thursday) evening, “insisted the governor of the most populous state in the United States, which alone is the fifth largest economy in terms of GDP (gross domestic product).
Earlier, the mayor of Los Angeles had announced the confinement of all the inhabitants of the city and his region, ordering them to stay at home and to refrain from any “non-essential” displacement. “We are taking this emergency measure to limit the spread of Covid-19 and save lives,” said Eric Garcetti.
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The only exceptions concern the supply of food or medicine, medical necessities, care of children or elderly or disabled, short walks staying at a good distance from others, details the Los Angeles city hall. Many non-essential retail businesses, such as clothing stores and shopping malls, must also cease “all operations that require the physical presence of employees on site”.
Up to 10,000 missing places in the hospital
According to Governor Newsom, the containment directive is set to defeat predictions that more than 25 million Californians (56% of the state’s population) could contract the new coronavirus in the next eight weeks. “The purpose of this order of confinement is to change these statistics, to bend the curve” to ensure that “this projection does not become a reality”. If this were the case, California would suffer a huge shortage of hospital beds, with 10,000 places missing, he estimated. The confinement has no end date because “the situation is changing”.
He said he shared these alarming forecasts in a letter to US President Donald Trump on Wednesday asking for emergency assistance from federal authorities, warning that the number of Covid-19 cases was doubling every four. days in certain areas.
Over 7,000 cases in New York State
Jobs and services essential to daily life (food, gas station, pharmacies, etc.) will be exempt from these provisions, he said, insisting however that all residents must respect “in all circumstances” a safety distance of about two meters when traveling. Adopting a less firm tone than the mayor of Los Angeles, Gavin Newsom indicated that he did not think that the police would have to intervene to enforce the containment measures.
In New York State, containment “is the most drastic measure we can take,” said Andrew Cuomo on Friday, adding that activities considered essential would not be affected. “We are all in quarantine,” hammered the governor of New York State, where the number of reported cases has accelerated sharply in recent hours.
The region recorded 2,950 new cases in 24 hours, including 1,939 in New York City alone, bringing the total to 7,102, including 4,408 in New York. The balance sheet shows 35 dead. Andrew Cuomo argued that this jump was largely due to the introduction of large-scale testing, on a scale greater than any other region in the United States, he said. On Thursday alone, 10,000 people were tested, bringing the total to 32,427, according to figures released Friday.