New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing a state of emergency to contain the spread of coronavirus in the state, in New York on March 7, 2020
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing a state of emergency to contain the spread of coronavirus in the state, in New York on March 7, 2020|governor.ny.gov
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US: New York Governor declares state of emergency to contain spread of coronavirus

NetIndian News Network

New York, March 8, 2020

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Saturday declared a state of emergency to help the state contain the spead of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) more quickly and effectively even as the number of cases in the state rose to 89.

Additionally, Cuomo directed the New York State Department of State's Consumer Protection Division to launch an investigation into reports of unfair price increases of consumer products such as household cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, and launched a toll-free hotline - 1-800-697-1220 - for New Yorkers to report suspected price gouging.

"As we continue to provide essential updates and encourage people to act upon the facts on coronavirus instead of the hype, I have officially done a declaration of emergency which gives us certain powers to help local health departments that are very stressed," he said at a media briefing on coronavirus.

"As the local health departments continue to monitor and quarantine people, we have a more expedited purchasing protocol to get them all the tools they need to contain the virus spread. In the meantime we are cracking down on price gouging which continues to be a problem, and I want businesses to be aware that you could lose your license because we are very serious about this."

As of Saturday night, more than 420 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the US with 17 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

This state of emergency declaration allows, among other things:

Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources

Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing

Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment

Expedited personnel onboarding

Expedited leasing of lab space

Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals

Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation

Most of the cases identified in the state are in Westchester county (70)and New York City (11), the most populous metropolis in the country.

"We are working to do more testing as quickly as possible to find the people who are infected and help contain the spread of the virus," Cuomo said. "There are going to be more cases because we are testing more people - that's a good thing because then we can deal with the situation based on more facts. We know about 80 percent of those infected will self-resolve. The best way to calm anxieties is to demonstrate absolute government competence, and that's exactly what we're doing."

Cuomo also announced travel insurance companies and travel agents will offer New York residents and businesses the ability to purchase coverage when making travel plans that would allow them to cancel a trip for any reason, including for reasons related to COVID-19.

As of Saturday night, more than 420 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the US with 17 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

IANS

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