The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, decreed Thursday a quarantine for nearly 40 million residents of the state. Further, he ordered the closure of nonessential businesses to fight the spread of the coronavirus in the state.
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The Democrat governor's order comes at a time when the cases confirmed to be COVID-19 in the Golden State are around a thousand, and the deceased infected by this virus reached 19 people.
"It is time that we all recognize that we need to do more," said the governor of the United States' leading economy.
The measure requires California residents to stay home except for "essential" needs, which will keep open grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, restaurants that can deliver and gas stations.
The governor stressed in a press conference from Sacramento that he prefers to make drastic decisions than to expose the state to a more severe contagion.
The decision was made after the governor warned President Donald Trump that more than half of Californians will likely be infected by the virus in the coming months.
"Right now, we need to make difficult decisions," said the governor, who said that it is imperative to speak "frankly" and speak "the truth" about the urgency of the situation.
California projects that 56% of its residents (25.5 million) will become infected with the new coronavirus over an eight-week time frame, Newsom said in the letter dated Wednesday.
Newsom also petitioned the US Congress on Thursday. $ 1 billion in federal funds to support the state's medical response to the new coronavirus.
The Democratic politician said financial aid is critical to the state's ability to purchase ventilators and other medical supplies, deploy mobile hospitals, and meet the different health care needs of Californians.
"The economic disruption caused by this public health crisis will have immediate and devastating effects across our country, including many families in California," he warned.
Minutes before giving his order, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and county supervisors had announced a similar motion calling for the closure of shopping malls and nonessential businesses.
"We need to be painfully honest tonight as we are about to enter a new way of living here," said the City Council chief.
Garcetti was emphatic in assuring that if they made this decision, it is because it is "safer to be at home." "This is not a request. It is an order," said the Los Angeles mayor.
With a large number of infected, California ranks as the third worse state in the Union.
The state of Washington continues to have the highest number of fatalities of COVID-19, with 74 deaths, followed by New York, with 29.
The state with the most reported cases is New York, with 4,152, while the state of Washington has 1,376.