New York, Mar 13: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a state of emergency in the city amid the increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. "In light of several new developments, it is time now to declare a state of emergency," de Blasio said on Thursday at a press conference, CNBC reported.
The declaration gives the city a vast range of new authority, including the power to establish curfews, shut down public transit, close public spaces, ration goods, impose price restrictions and suspend alcohol sales, he said. De Blasio said New York City has so far confirmed 95 new cases of infection with COVID-19, and this number is expected to increase to 1,000 next week. More than 1,780 people are under voluntary quarantine in the city, with an additional 29 people under mandatory quarantine, he said. “This will not be over soon, this is going to be a long-long battle. It's a tough battle. We are going to lose some of our fellow New Yorkers, that, unfortunately, is not inevitable," de Blasio said.
De Blasio also mentioned that places of public gatherings in the city such as the Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall will be closed. Earlier in the day, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of 500 or more people effective Friday and ordered Broadway theaters on Manhattan to shut down on Thursday. UNI