Coronavirus: Troops sent to New York ‘containment zone’
New York’s governor has announced that troops will be sent into a town north of the city in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The National Guard will deliver food to quarantined individuals in New Rochelle, where a one-mile (1.6km) “containment zone” will be enforced.
The area has seen “the largest cluster” of US cases, Andrew Cuomo said as he announced the measures on Tuesday.
There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US so far.
New York state has 173 active cases, the most in the US, and 108 of them are in Westchester County where New Rochelle is located.
China – where the virus was first detected – has seen a total of 80,754 confirmed cases and 3,136 deaths. But it recorded its lowest number of new infections, just 19, on Tuesday.
What’s happening in New York?
New York City has 36 confirmed cases of the virus. But New Rochelle, which has a population of just 77,000, is believed to have at least twice as many.
“[It’s] a particular problem,” Mr Cuomo said. “It’s a phenomenon.”
A synagogue is reported to be at the centre of the New Rochelle outbreak and around 1,000 people associated with the temple are now in quarantine.
Mr Cuomo announced a string of measures on Tuesday afternoon in a bid to quell the spread of the virus in the area. He said the “dramatic action” was a “matter of life and death”.
Schools, gathering places and businesses in the virus hot spot will be closed for two weeks. Officials will also set up a coronavirus testing facility at a local hospital.
The National Guard will be deployed to help clean schools and public spaces as well as deliver food.
But Mr Cuomo stressed there would be no travel restrictions in the town.
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