Washington, Mar 23: US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he has ordered the deployment of National Guard troops in three of the states hardest hit by the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
According to the statement, the National Guard troops will be deployed in the states of New York, California and Washington to deliver medical aid and set up medical stations, after the number of deaths across the country rose to 582 and infections to 46,145.
The National Guards will be setting up medical stations with a total capacity of 4,000 beds, 2,000 of which will go to California, 1,000 to New York and 1,000 to Washington state.
Mr Trump also said that he had approved requests to issue a major disaster declaration for the states of New York and Washington, and would do the same for California "very shortly".
These declarations make federal funding available for relief work to these states, which have been struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier, several state governors and local authorities had urged the federal government to make more medical supplies available to them. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "We're about 10 days away from seeing widespread shortages. If we don't get more ventilators, people will begin to die."
The state of New York accounts for almost half of the total cases in the country. California is also facing a shortage of medical supplies and has instructed all the hospitals to restrict testing for COVID-19. Meanwhile, a hospital in Washington state - once the centre of the US outbreak - said it could run out of ventilators by April. (UNI)