The United States of America has announced the extension of lockdown for the purpose of controlling the spread of coronavirus to May 15, even as the United Kingdom extended the nationwide lockdown to three weeks.
The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who announced the extension of the lockdown today, April 16, said: “non-essential workers must continue to stay home. Social distancing rules remain in place,” Cuomo tweeted, saying the extension was “in coordination with other states.”
Speaking at a daily news conference, the governor said the state continued to make progress in containing the spread of the virus thanks to social distancing policies.
“We’ve controlled the beast. We brought the rate of spread down.”
Cuomo said he is encouraged by the decreasing rate of hospitalisations, ICU admissions and intubations.
“What happens after then? I don’t know. We will see depending on what the data shows,” he said of the May 15 extension.
He said that the first step to reopening New York’s economy was “don’t let that infection rate go up.”
The state also needed to strengthen the health-care system and conduct widespread testing and contact tracing, for which “we need the federal government to work with us,” Cuomo said.
He said that 606 more people died of the virus, bringing the death toll to more than 12,000 in the state, the epicentre of the pandemic in the U.S.
New York City, which is particularly hard-hit, is set to use 11,000 empty hotel rooms, initially meant to serve as temporary hospitals, for people who need to quarantine, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
He said the city will offer the rooms to those in overcrowded homes and hard-hit neighbourhoods, health-care workers and the homeless.
This is even as the United Kingdom announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown for three weeks to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
Dominic Raab, who is deputizing for Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that is recuperates from coronavirus complications, said that the order was to prevent new outbreaks of the virus.
“Relaxing any of the measures currently in place would risk damage to both public health and the economy.”
The UK has the fifth-highest official death toll from COVID-19 in the world, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France.
The announcement, which had been widely expected, means Britons must stay at home unless they are shopping for basic necessities or meeting medical needs.
Citizens are allowed to exercise in public once a day, and can travel to work if they are unable to work from home.