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40 million Californians ordered to stay home to halt coronavirus spread

The Democrat who is barely a year into his first term also called up 500 National Guard troops to help distribute food in the state, after panic buying led to massive lines at grocery stores.

Topics
California | Coronavirus

BS Web Team & AP  |  Sacramento (US) 

COVID-19: Lessons from history
According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 1,030 confirmed cases in California and 18 people have died.

Amid outbreak, Governor made a sweeping move and ordered 40 million residents of the US state to stay home indefinitely and venture outside only for essential jobs, or running errands. Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announced this on Thursday saying that the virus threatens to overwhelm the state's medical system. This move marked the end of a week of increasingly aggressive moves taken by the US govt to keep the virus in check by forcing people to stay indoors, away from each other as often as possible. In an online press conference Newsom said, "I can assure you home isolation is not my preferred choice, I know it's not yours, but it's a necessary one," Reuters reported.

He also assured the residents that they can still go outside, practicing common sense and social distancing, and maintained that he doesn't expect police will be needed to enforce the order.

The announcement came after Newsom wrote to President Donald Trump, and warned him about how quickly the virus was spreading and could infect more than half the state's population.

The Democrat who is barely a year into his first term also called up 500 National Guard troops to help distribute food in the state, after panic buying led to massive lines at grocery stores.

Apart from all these measures taken, has taken over a 357-bed bankrupt hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area, and soon will purchase a similarly sized hospital in Southern and is also planning to use dormitories at the state's public colleges and universities. Newsom also asked Trump to dock the Navy's 1,000-patient Mercy hospital ship in the Port of Los Angeles. In the letter Newsom stated stating that infection rates are doubling every four days in some areas of teh state and that 56 per cent of the state's population could contract the virus in the next eight weeks. Overwhelming majority of the 56 per cent won't have symptoms and will be fine but that up to 20 per cent could be hospitalised, he added.

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 1,030 confirmed cases in California and 18 people have died. Newsom earlier announced $150 million of a $1 billion emergency state appropriation would go toward getting homeless people off the streets. He also al=sked US House and Senate leaders for $1 billion to support state and local health systems.

First Published: Fri, March 20 2020. 18:32 IST
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