New York joins California in locking down against the virus

 New York joins California in locking down against the virus

New York joins California in locking down against the virus
Health services staff members protest outside the Txagorritxu hospital demanding more protection equipment, after a Spanish nurse died Thursday from coronavirus COVID-19 in a hospital, in Vitoria, northern Spain, Friday March 20, 2020. Spain will mobilise 200 billion euros for workers and vulnerable citizens, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Tuesday. For many people the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, but for some it causes more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

New York state joined California on Friday in ordering nearly all residents to stay home, as governors watched with growing alarm as southern Europe buckled under the strain of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re going to close the valve, because the rate of increase in the number of cases portends a total overwhelming of our hospital system,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said as cases in the state climbed to more than 7,000.

Cuomo said is he directing all workers in nonessential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide. The move came after California, the nation’s most populous state, with some 40 million people, all but confined its population in the biggest lockdown in the U.S.

The increasingly drastic measures in the U.S. came as gasping patients filled the wards of hospitals in Spain and Italy, and the global death toll surpassed 10,000, with the virus still multiplying and gaining footholds in new corners of the world.

The World Health Organization noted the epidemic’s dramatic speed.

“It took over three months to reach the first 10,000 confirmed cases and only 12 days to reach the next 100,000,” the U.N. health agency said.

Countries frantically prepared for an onslaught of patients in the coming weeks.

New York joins California in locking down against the virus
Customers wearing protective masks and gloves wait in line at a Stop & Shop supermarket that opened special morning hours to serve people 60-years and older due to coronavirus concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Teaneck, N.J. For most people, COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

In Britain, the government asked 65,000 retired nurses and doctors to return to work. A convention center and hotels in Madrid were being turned into field hospitals for nearly 10,000 patients. France’s military worked to build a makeshift in the hard-hit town of Mulhouse. The U.S. readied military hospitals for civilian use, and more than 4,000 National Guard members were deployed in 31 states to help distribute food, scrub down surfaces and help in other ways.

The Trump administration warned Americans abroad to return home or risk spending an “indefinite” period away. And the income tax filing deadline was moved from April 15 to July 15.

“We’re about to enter into a new way of living here in Los Angeles,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said as California went into lockdown, with people told venture outside only for essential jobs or errands and some exercise. “What we do and how we do it and if we get this right will determine how long this crisis lasts.”

New York joins California in locking down against the virus
An member of the group ‘Pause the System’ wears a face mask as she protests in front of the entrance to Downing Street in London, Friday, March 20, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The virus has stuck at the very identities of many countries: closing down cafes, restaurants and boulevard life in France, ending la dolce vita in Italy, forcing the cancellation of the ceremonial changing of the guard at England’s Buckingham Palace and wrecking sales of tulips in Holland.

In Bergamo, the epicenter of the outbreak in Italy, cemeteries were overwhelmed. Patients at the city’s main hospital lined up in a narrow ward, struggling for breath as doctors and nurses moved swiftly from one beeping machine to the next.

“When the virus arrived here, there was no containment and it spread through the valleys very quickly. … Some said it was the normal flu. We doctors knew it was not,” said Dr. Luca Lorini, head of intensive care at the hospital, where nearly 500 beds were dedicated to people suffering severe symptoms of the virus. Eighty of the patients were in intensive care.

New York joins California in locking down against the virus
A view of the ICU of the emergency field hospital that is being set up outside Cremona hospital, northern Italy, Friday, March 20, 2020. A Christian evangelical group headed by the son of the late televangelist Billy Graham has sent a field hospital to northern Italy to tend to coronavirus patients, joining China in offering aid to Italy’s overwhelmed health care system. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP)

In the Italian farm town of Fondi, home to a wholesale produce market serving Rome and Naples, a new ordinance banned all but essential people from entering or leaving after 40 elderly residents became infected.

At a convent on the outskirts of Rome, 19 of 21 nuns were infected, according to the Italian daily Il Messaggero. A Vatican decree absolved the sins of the faithful who were sick or in quarantine, as well as those of their caregivers, if they met certain conditions.

“Certain medical centers are suffering stress that is reaching the limit,” said Fernando Simón, director of Spain’s center for health alerts and emergencies. “The difficult days in which we must bear down are coming now. We must keep our focus.”

Although the illness is mild in most people, the elderly are particularly susceptible to serious symptoms. Italy has the world’s second-oldest population, and the vast majority of its dead—87%—were over 70.

New York joins California in locking down against the virus
Vesselin Mareshki, right, leader of Bulgarian Political party Volya, and an MP from from his party wear protective suits during Parliamentary session in the Bulgarian National Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Friday March 20, 2020. For some people the COVID-19 coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, but for some it can cause very severe illness.(AP Photo/Vesselin Borishev)

Some of the only good news came from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak began and were hospitals were struggling just weeks ago. For the second day in a row, no new infections were reported and only 39 cases were recorded nationwide—all brought from the outside, the government said.

With the crisis waning, China has begun sending medical supplies to Europe.

The effects of the global economy grinding to a halt took their toll, from millions of unsold flowers rotting in piles in Kenya to the slow emptying of the world’s skies.

In the U.S., Congress worked to put together a $1 trillion emergency package to prop up industry and small businesses and dispense relief checks of $1,200 for adults and $500 per child.

In Nevada, where Las Vegas casinos were shut down on the governor’s orders, casino manager Patricia Beck lamented: “I know why he did it. I get it. But they don’t understand the impact of a four-hour notice that your life’s over.”

New York joins California in locking down against the virus
Medical staff in protective gear administer a test for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing center in Paramus, N.J., Friday, March 20, 2020. The coronavirus testing center opened Friday in Bergen County which has been the state’s hardest-hit area. Gov. Phil Murphy said only those with symptoms should get in line, and not those whom he called the “worried well,” people who are feeling well but are concerned they could be infected. The facility will have the capacity to conduct 2,500 tests a week, according to the governor. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Scientists advising the British government warned that restrictions on daily life may have to be in place for a year, with periods of less stringent and more stringent measures.

Governments are trying to balance locking down residents with the need to keep food, medicine and other essentials flowing. In Britain, the category of vital workers includes doctors, nurses and paramedics—and also vicars, truckers, garbage collectors and journalists.

French President Emmanuel Macron urged employees to keep working in supermarkets, production sites and other necessary businesses amid stringent movement restrictions.

“We need to keep the country running,” Macron said.

Worldwide, the number of infections exceeded 244,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

Italy, with 60 million citizens, recorded at least 3,405 deaths, exceeding the 3,248 in China, a country with a population over 20 times larger. Spain, second behind Italy in Europe, reported 1,002 deaths and 19,980 infections. The U.S. death toll rose to at least 206.

  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    A member of Indonesian Red Cross receives assistance from a colleague to adjust his protective suit as they prepare to disinfect Cipinang Prison compound to prevent the spread of new coronavirus outbreak, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, March 20, 2020. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    Italian soldiers patrol as the Duomo gothic cathedral is visible in background, in Milan, Friday, March 20, 2020. Mayors of many towns in Italy are asking for ever more stringent measures on citizens’ movements to help contain the surging infections of the coronavirus. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    A women beats a cooking top in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, March 20, 2020 during the ‘Switzerland says thank you’ campaign to thank paramedics who fight against the new coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    Muslim men perform Friday prayer at the distance of about one meter (3 ft) to each other as a social distancing effort to prevent the spread of new coronavirus outbreak at Al Akbar mosque in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Friday, March 20, 2020. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)
  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    A worker sprays disinfectant as a precaution against the new coronavirus at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, March 20, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    People walk across near empty Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 20, 2020. The Czech Republic’s government has approved further dramatic measures to try and stem the spread of the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. The Prague castle is in the background. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    People wear face masks as they walk through an office complex in Beijing, Friday, March 20, 2020. Italy’s deaths from the coronavirus pandemic eclipsed China’s on Thursday as the scourge extended its march across the West, where the United States and other countries increasingly enlisted the military to prepare for an onslaught of patients and California’s governor ordered people in the most-populous U.S. state to stay home. The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, for most people, but severe illness is more likely in the elderly and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    South Korean police officers wearing face masks move as they guard near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 20, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • New York joins California in locking down against the virus
    A member of the health service at Txagorritxu hospital walks along the perimeter of the hospital, in Vitoria, northern Spain, Vitoria, northern Spain, March 20, 2020. Spain will mobilize 200 billion euros or the equivalent to one fifth of the country’s annual output in loans, credit guarantees and subsidies for workers and vulnerable citizens, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Tuesday. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

More than 86,000 people have recovered, mostly in China.

Iran’s official toll of more than 1,400 dead was rising quickly as well amid fears it is underreporting its cases. Tehran accused Washington of helping spread the virus by retaining sanctions that prevent it importing desperately needed medicine and medical equipment.

As the virus strengthened its foothold in Africa, the continent’s busiest airport, in Johannesburg, announced that foreigners will no longer be allowed to disembark.


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New York joins California in locking down against the virus (2020, March 20)
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