Ns News Online Desk: New York’s governor has announced that troops will be sent into a town north of the city in an attempt to contain the spread of the corona virus. The National Guard will deliver food to quarantined individuals in New Rochelle, where a one-mile (1.6km) “containment zone” will be enforced.
The area has seen “the largest cluster” of US cases, Andrew Cuomo said as he announced the measures on Tuesday.There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of corona virus in the US so far. New York state has 173 active cases, the most in the US, and 108 of them are in Westchester County where New Rochelle is located.
China – where the virus was first detected – has seen a total of 80,754 confirmed cases and 3,136 deaths. But it recorded its lowest number of new infections, just 19, on Tuesday.
In other developments:
A UK health minister, Nadine Dorries, said she had tested positive for corona virus and was self-isolating at home
Music festivals and other major events, including Coachella festival in California, were cancelled or postponed
Thousands of flights were cancelled worldwide as airlines struggled to cope with a slump in demand
New York City has 36 confirmed cases of the virus. But New Rochelle, which has a population of just 77,000, is believed to have at least twice as many. “[It’s] a particular problem,” Mr Cuomo said. “It’s a phenomenon.”
A synagogue is reported to be at the center of the New Rochelle outbreak and around 1,000 people associated with the temple are now in quarantine.
Mr Cuomo announced a string of measures on Tuesday afternoon in a bid to quell the spread of the virus in the area. He said the “dramatic action” was a “matter of life and death”. Schools, gathering places and businesses in the virus hot spot will be closed for two weeks. Officials will also set up a corona virus testing facility at a local hospital.
The National Guard will be deployed to help clean schools and public spaces as well as deliver food.
But Mr Cuomo stressed there would be no travel restrictions in the town.Twenty-nine people have died in the country as a result of the virus – 24 in Washington state, two in California, two in Florida and one in New Jersey. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci, urged Americans to start taking the risk of infection seriously.
“We would like the country to realize that as a nation, we can’t be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago,” he said at a White House briefing. Senior Republicans self-quarantine over virus
Coachella music festival postponed
Concerns deepened amid the sharp rise in the number of cases reported in the first week of March. Infections were disclosed in New York, Washington, New Jersey and Tennessee in quick succession.