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Coronavirus: More US States Announce Lockdown Orders


As more US states tighten measures to fight the coronavirus, about three out of four Americans are now, or about to be, under some form of lockdown.

The US has almost 175,000 confirmed virus cases and over 3,400 deaths.

It surpassed Italy last week as the country with the highest number of people suffering from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and Arizona became the latest states to order citizens to stay at home, meaning 32 of 50 states have taken such steps.

Meanwhile governors are quarrelling with President Donald Trump about the availability of testing kits.

New York City is the worst-hit place in the US, with 914 confirmed fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Some 245 million people are already under orders to stay at home, or facing such orders which come into effect later on March 31.

Almost two-thirds of states have issued directives for their citizens to stay put, while the remaining states have localized orders in effect.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been reluctant to impose a state-wide order, said he would instruct people in four counties in the south – where more than half the state’s cases of the virus exist – to stay at home. He said this would last until at least the middle of May.

In general, the “lockdowns” allow people to only go out to get essential supplies and medicines, or limited forms of exercise.

The economic consequences have been profound, with millions of people having lost their jobs.

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According to a Fed estimate, 47 million people could be out of work in the coming months, with the US still weeks away from the peak of infections.

According to CBS News, President Trump and state governors held a conference call on March 30 in which the president suggested there was no longer a lack of kits to test people for Covid-19.

In an audio recording obtained by CBS News, President Trump says he has not “heard about testing in weeks.

He says: “We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world. We’ve got these great tests and we’re coming out with a faster one this week… I haven’t heard about testing being a problem.”

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is heard to say his state does not have adequate numbers of kits.

He says: “Literally, we are one day away, if we don’t get test kits from the CDC, that we wouldn’t be able to do testing in Montana.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee told the New York Times he was taken aback by President Trump’s assertion.