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21 Mar, 2020 16:57

New York passes 10,000 coronavirus cases, as statewide lockdown ordered

New York passes 10,000 coronavirus cases, as statewide lockdown ordered

New York State has reported its 10,000th person with the Covid-19 coronavirus, and now accounts for more than half of all the US’ cases. Meanwhile, the federal government has declared a ‘Major Disaster” in the Empire State.

A total of 10,365 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in New York State between Friday and Saturday, up 3,254 on the previous day, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday. Cuomo stated that 1,803 of these new cases were discovered in New York City, but officials in the city later told NBC News that cases there increased by nearly twice that figure.

Cuomo attributed the rise to his state’s widespread rollout of testing for the illness, telling reporters “the more tests you take, the more positives you will find.” According to the governor, New York has carried out almost as many tests as the states of California and Washington combined.

In little under a week, New York has emerged as an epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US. More than half of the nation’s 20,000 cases of the illness are localized in New York, with two-thirds of these in New York City alone.

To stop the spread within the Big Apple, Cuomo announced that his administration will be sending more than a million masks to the city, and will purchase 6,000 ventilators for critically ill patients. 

Officials in New York have appealed to the federal government for assistance handling the crisis. In response, the Trump administration has ordered a Navy hospital ship to the city, while the Army Corps of Engineers has set about identifying vacant buildings to convert into hospital facilities.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared a “Major Disaster Declaration,” unlocking more than $40 billion in disaster relief funding for the state.

As NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded with President Donald Trump on Friday to deploy the federal military to his city, Cuomo ordered a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses in the state, to come into force on Sunday. However, mass transit will still operate, as will laundromats, banks, take-out restaurants, and even liquor stores.

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