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US Coronavirus Task Force expresses concern over situation in New York

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Expressing "deep concern"over the rising number of the novel coronavirus cases in New York and its metropolitan area, members of the US Coronavirus Task Force have urged all those who have left the city in the last few days to self-quarantine themselves to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

New York saw at least 53 deaths and about 5,000 new cases on Tuesday. The city has so far reported more than 25,000 COVID-19 cases and 210 fatalities.

According to Worldometer, a website which compiles COVID-19 cases, nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases were reported across the country on Tuesday alone, taking the total number of infections to around 54,000, while the number of fatalities surged by 150 in a day, bringing its total to about 700.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force is calling on any of American first and foremost if you are in the New York City metropolitan area or elsewhere to take the guidelines that we issued and avoid non-essential travel.

"But for anyone in the New York metropolitan area who has travelled, our task force is encouraging you to monitor your temperature, be sensitive to symptoms, and we are asking anyone who has travelled out of the New York City metropolitan area to anywhere else in the country to self-isolate for 14 days, Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the task force, told reporters at a White House conference on Tuesday.

Describing New York as a high-risk area, Pence said that they will continue to surge resources because of the spread of the disease in the city.

President Donald Trump said more than 2.4 million face shields, 1.9 million surgical gowns, 13.5 million gloves, and more than 4000 ventilators are being delivered to New York in view of the deteriorating situation.

We remain deeply concerned about New York City and the New York metro area, Deborah Birx, member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said.

Birx said that about 56 per cent of all the cases in the US are coming out of the New York metro area.

"Sixty per cent of all the new cases are coming out of the Metro New York area and 31 per cent of the people succumbing to the disease, Brix said.

It means because they still are at the 31 per cent mortality compared to the other regions of the country that we can have a huge impact if we unite together, she added.

This means, as in all places, they have to be following the presidential guidelines that were put out eight or nine days ago, and this will be critical, she said.

But to everyone who has left New York over the last few days, because of the rate of the number of cases, you may have been exposed before you left New York, she said.

Everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn't spread to others, no matter where they have gone, whether it's Florida, North Carolina, or out to far reaches of Long Island, Brix said.

Noting that there are new cases across Long Island, Brix said that it suggests people have left the city and it will be very critical for those individuals to self-quarantine themselves in their homes over the next 14 days to make sure they don't pass the virus to others based on the time that they left New York.

Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), described the situation in New York as very serious.

It's a very serious situation. They've suffered terribly through no fault of their own. But what we are seeing now is that, understandably, people want to get out of New York, he said.

They are going to Florida, they are going to Long Island, they are going to different places. The idea if you look at the statistics is disturbing.

"About one per thousand of these individuals are infected, that is about 8 to 10 times more than in other areas which means when they go to another place for their own safety they have got to be careful and monitor themselves, Fauci said.

If they get sick, they should bring it to the attention of a physician and get tested, he said.

Also, the idea about self-isolating for two weeks will be very important because we don't want that to be another seating point to the rest of the country wherever they go and then thirdly just one comment about drugs and the testing of drugs, the top American doctor said.

The Army Corps of Engineers and National Guard are building four hospital facilities in the city which will be operational very soon, he said.

In addition, they are building four separate medical facilities in different parts of the state.

We are also deploying the US Navy hospital ship, and that will be arriving in New York Harbor in the not-too-distant future. It is finishing its maintenance, he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 10:48 IST
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