US becomes first country with more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/4/2 18:27:38

Photo taken on March 30, 2020 shows an almost-empty terminal building at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington of Virginia, the United States. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)

The United States became the first nation with more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, according to a new tally from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a total of 203,608 cases have been reported in the United States, with 4,476 deaths, showed the tally updated by the university's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

New York state has recorded 83,712 diagnoses and 1,941 deaths, both the highest among US states and territories, read the update.

US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will not issue a national stay-at-home order even as coronavirus cases are still surging in the country.

Trump told reporters at a White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing that he does not intend to do so because different states have different levels of COVID-19 cases.

"You have to look -- you have to give a little flexibility. If you have a state in the Midwest, or if Alaska for example doesn't have a problem, it's awfully tough to say close it down. We have to have a little bit of flexibility," Trump said at the briefing.

Florida issued the stay-at-home order on Wednesday, which takes effect Thursday and is valid for 30 days.

"At this point, I think even though there's a lot of places in Florida that have very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now," said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a press briefing.

Previously hesitant to issue a stay-at-home order, DeSantis has been under pressure to do so. He issued a "safer-at-home" order Monday for Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties through mid-May.

So far, more than 294 million people in at least 37 states, 74 counties, 14 cities, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are covered by the order, according to calculations by The New York Times.

California has decided not to reopen public schools before the end of this academic year as the number of cases rose to near 10,000 in the state.

Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that it is "a right thing to do for our children" and for their parents in response to the spread of the coronavirus.

He encouraged California students to study at home. "I know how stressful this is," said the governor.

California's State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond released a statement Tuesday regarding the 2019-20 school year, saying that the education authorities are "doing everything we can to support our schools and their distance learning opportunities for our students."

There are more than 6 million students in K-12 schools in California, according to a statement from Newsom's office last month.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York City playgrounds will close to address the disobedience of maintaining social distancing since the state banned public gathering over a week ago.

He also urged young people to stay at home, saying that "they still haven't gotten the message."

"You still see too many situations with too much density by young people," he said. "They're putting their lives at risk. This can kill young people. Rare circumstances, but it can. But you get infected, you give it to someone else."

"No density, no basketball games, no close contact, no violation of social distancing, period. That's the rule," the governor said.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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