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Trump says world paying big price as China hid virus info; US toll hits 200

California issued a statewide 'stay at home" order on Thursday for its 40 million residents and Washington warned Americans to return home or stay abroad indefinitely

Agencies 

Donald trump
US President Donald Trump said, "It could have been contained to that one area of China where it started. And certainly the world is paying a big price for what they did".

US President charged Thursday that the world is "paying a big price" for China's lack of transparency on the outbreak of the new there several months ago. "It would have been much better if we had known about this a number of months earlier," Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on the pandemic. "It could have been contained to that one area of where it started. And certainly the world is paying a big price for what they did.

California issues 'stay home' order; US death toll hits 200

California issued a statewide 'stay at home" order on Thursday for its 40 million residents and Washington warned Americans to return home or stay abroad indefinitely, with the number of deaths in the country hitting 200.

Governor Gavin Newsom said modeling has shown that 56 percent of California residents were expected to contract Covid-19 over the next eight weeks, requiring nearly 20,000 more hospital beds than the state could currently provide.

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He said Los Angeles, as the nation's second-largest city, would likely be "disproportionately impacted" by the pandemic in the coming weeks.

As authorities ramped up measures to keep the virus from spreading, Washington could announce restrictions on travel across the US-Mexico border as soon as Friday, limiting crossings to essential travel, two officials briefed on the matter said. That would follow a similar measure on Wednesday closing the border with Canada.

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The fast-spreading respiratory illness has shattered most patterns of American life: shuttering schools and businesses, prompting millions to work from home, forcing many out of jobs and sharply curtailing travel.

The US State Department told citizens that if they travel internationally, "your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe."

First Published: Fri, March 20 2020. 09:19 IST
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