Speaking to Sky News in New York City, a doctor urged people around the world to stay home unless strictly necessary to prevent further spreading of coronavirus. He said: “The only thing I ask everyone, I know you guys are from England, we’re living in the States, stay at home if you don’t need to go anywhere. Don’t try to do anything crazy right now, it’s a serious pandemic.”
Another health carer went as far as comparing the COVID-19 pandemic to the tragic 9/11 attack in 2001.
He explained: “9/11 was nothing compared to this.
“We were open waiting for patients to come that never came.
“Now they just keep coming.
“And they’re all ages. Don’t delude yourself into thinking only the old will die or will get it.
“They’re all ages.”
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that the state is now showing tentative signs of slowing the spread of the disease.
The rate of hospitalisations in New York has slowed in recent days, Mr Cuomo said, with numbers he called “almost too good to be true.” He also hailed 40,000 retired nurses, physicians and other medical professionals who signed up for a surge health care force, but warned that much remains to be done.
In an ominous sign of a potential catastrophe, New York, North Carolina and Hawaii requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency send special mortuary teams that can be deployed for mass casualties.
New Orleans, where large crowds celebrated Mardi Gras a month ago, was on track to become the next US epicentre, as Louisiana’s Gulf Coast metropolis recorded the world’s highest growth rate in coronavirus cases.
At a news conference, Mr Cuomo said the city also would ban basketball and other contact sports in public parks, urging individuals to comply on a voluntary basis.
“Our closeness makes us vulnerable,” said Mr Cuomo, who has emerged as a leading voice on the coronavirus.
Nationwide, at least 65,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the highly contagious virus, as the death toll surpassed 940.
Only two other nations – China and Italy – have more cases of the virus, which is particularly perilous to elderly people and those with underlying chronic health conditions.