Coronavirus: Trump decides against imposing quarantine for New York

US President Donald Trump answers a question during the daily White House coronavirus response briefing with members of the administation's coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington. (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump decided late Saturday against imposing a broad lockdown on New York and its neighbors after a strong pushback from local political leaders and warnings of the panic it could spark.

“A quarantine will not be necessary,” Trump tweeted, some eight hours after he stunned the New York metropolitan region, hit heavily by the coronavirus epidemic, with a proposal to place it under quarantine to prevent residents from leaving.

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President Trump said that he would issue a travel warning for the hard-hit New York area to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump’s announcement came as the US death count crossed 2,100, more than double the level from two days ago. The United States has now recorded more than 122,000 cases of the respiratory virus, the most of any country in the world.

Since the virus first appeared in the United States in late January, Trump has vacillated between playing down the risks of infection and urging Americans to take steps to slow its spread.

Trump said on Saturday afternoon that he might impose a ban on travel in and out of New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, the US epicenter of the disease, to protect other states that have yet to bear the brunt. He offered few
specifics.

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Last Update: 07:02 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02
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