Daily US Times, San Fransisco: California has issued a “stay at home” order to all of its 40 million citizens as it tries to stop the spread of the coronavirus across the most populous US state.
Governor Gavin Newsom told Californians they all should stay at home and only leave their homes when necessary.
He estimated earlier that half of the population of the state, nearly 20 million people would contract Covid-19 in just the next two months.
In the US, there have been more than 14,000 cases reported with 205 deaths.
The global death toll crossed 10,000 mark and nearly 250,000 patients have tested positive for the respiratory illness.
What does California’s order mean?
“This is a moment we need to make tough decisions,” Governor Newsom said on Thursday evening ”We need to recognize reality.”
It will force businesses deemed non-essential to close while allowing others including pharmacies, grocery stores, petrol stations and banks to stay open.
About half of the state’s population is already subject to similar stringent measures, including the city of San Francisco.
Some parts of California were seeing infection rates double every four days, says the governor.
On Wednesday, the Democratic governor issued a dire prediction in a letter to President Donald Trump, appealing for urgent federal help.
While speaking at a press conference in Sacramento, Governor Newsom said the virus “will impact about 56% of us – you do the math in the state of California, that’s a particularly large number”.
According to the Los Angeles Times, California has recorded fewer than 1,000 cases of the virus and 19 deaths.
Where are the other US coronavirus ‘hot zones’?
Along with Washington and New York, California is among the US states worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday alone, the number of New York City’s infected people doubled to 3,954, bigger than the confirmed number in the whole UK.
The city mayor Bill de Blasio warns that most populous city in the US would run out of medical supplies within three weeks if the “explosion” of infections continued at such a rate.
He urged the federal government to help New York obtain 15,000 ventilators, 50 million surgical masks, 3 million respirator masks, 45 million gowns, gloves, and coveralls.
At least 26 people of New York City have died from the virus.
The US Department of State, meanwhile, on Thursday urged Americans to forgo all foreign travel.
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