The United States surpassed Wednesday the mark of 200,000 cases of new coronavirus, according to the count of Johns Hopkins University, which refers.
The pandemic has killed at least 4,361 people in the country, the first in the world in the number of reported cases of infections (203,608).
Florida orders general containment
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday ordered the containment of the state’s 21 million residents to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
So far, state counties have chosen whether or not to order containment, and the governor, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, had been criticized for his lax response to the epidemic.
At midnight Thursday, “I will issue a decree to limit the movement and interaction of Floridians outside their homes,” he said. Exceptions will apply to essential services, he said.
Florida, the third US state in terms of inhabitants, is the place of residence of many elderly people, a population particularly at risk from COVID-19.
At the beginning of the epidemic in the United States, images of young people partying on the beaches of Miami, while New York or California were preparing for confinement, had shocked.
Over 80% of the American population is now under strict containment. Donald Trump’s government has not decreed federal containment but has left it to the individual states to do so.
Governor DeSantis also mentioned the situation of the cruise ship Zaandam on Wednesday, on which four people died of the coronavirus and that he does not want to see land in Fort Lauderdale, north of Miami.
“Obviously, I am not in control of the port,” he said, while a berthing plan is being organized, in consultation with the local authorities.
Florida has about 7,000 cases of coronavirus listed, with 85 deaths.
Social distancing: in New York, closed playgrounds and “firmer” police
New York’s playgrounds will be closed and police will be “tougher” with people who don’t follow social distancing rules, the state’s most affected governor said on Wednesday. more than 83,000 confirmed cases.
“Respect for the rules is not yet what it should be,” said Andrew Cuomo during a press briefing. “So we’re going to take more drastic measures. We will close the playgrounds in New York, “he added, noting that the green spaces will remain accessible.
“Use the open spaces in the parks, take a walk, sunbathe. Very good. But no density, no basketball, “he urged.
He gave no specific date for the closure of the playgrounds but stressed: “working with the president of the municipal council and the mayor” on this point.
He also said that the New York police must be “firmer” with those who do not respect the rules of distancing.
The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, had already indicated the day before that after having mainly done pedagogy, the police officers would begin to distribute fines, up to 500 dollars in the event of an infringement.
The approximately 20 million residents of New York State are under confinement – except for activities deemed essential – until mid-April.
But the extension of these measures at least until the end of the month is predictable, especially since the governor indicated that the projection model he used now predicted that the peak of the epidemic in this state would occur in late April, May beginning.
New York is by far the US state most affected by the epidemic, with nearly half of the estimated 200,000 cases confirmed in the United States on Wednesday, and nearly 2,000 of the 4,300 deaths in total.
Washington to Americans Abroad: Come Back Before the Virus “Tsunami”
The United States, which has already repatriated more than 30,000 Americans since the start of the pandemic, on Wednesday issued a warning to its nationals still abroad: return now before being submerged by the “tsunami” of the coronavirus.
“There is no guarantee that the State Department will be able to continue helping repatriations” in “a few weeks”, warned Ian Brownlee, responsible for coordinating the return of the Americans, stressing that he could soon be impossible to use commercial flights or even charter private planes.
“If American citizens want to return to the United States, they must make their arrangements now,” he said in a press conference call.
The diplomat raised his voice, because, according to him, many people seem to procrastinate without realizing the urgency of the situation, while the borders are closed one after the other and that the airlines suspend their flights to stem the spread of COVID-19.
“If you are on the beach when the earth begins to shake, you do not stay there waiting for the tsunami, you run for shelter,” he said. “Well, in this case, the earthquake has already taken place, it is time to take shelter, and not to hope to receive help later!” ”
According to Ian Brownlee, the US State Department has repatriated more than 31,000 Americans since the start of the epidemic in China, from more than 60 countries on more than 350 flights.
There are still more than 80 flights planned or in preparation for the coming days, he said.
At this point, some 24,000 people remain who “have indicated that they could request repatriation,” added the diplomat.