Mayor Bill de Blasio calls for deploying military as COVID-19 cases surge

New York: With the number of coronavirus cases rising sharply in New York City to 3,615, Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for deploying the military to help the city face the pandemic.

De Blasio said on Thursday the military must be given the orders to mobilize and take on the coronavirus crisis.

“We have such extraordinary military capability” to fight the pandemic and “the President is sitting idly by” instead of mobilizing it, he said.

President Donald Trump has ordered a Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, with 1,000 rooms and operation theatres to New York to back up the city’s health facilities.

Because of the dire situation, de Blasio said, the city would be releasing some prisoners from its notorious Riker’s Island prison.

Some employees and prisoners have tested for coronavirus and he wanted to reduce the crowding there to reduce chances of infection spreading by letting out some low-risk prisoners.

The coronavirus cases in the City increased by 1,606 between 5.30 p.m. Wednesday and 10.30 a.m. Thursday.

As New York became the US state with the most number of COVID-19 cases (4,152 on Thursday), Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered reducing the percentage of employees who can work on site from 50 per cent to 25 per cent in order to reduce the density of people in workplaces in order to keep distances between the workers.

He has attributed the spiraling cases to increased testing that has identified previously unknown cases.

Because two members of the New York State Assembly have come down with COVID-19, the legislature took special precautions by having the members coming in small batches to vote on legislation for sick leave, rather than having a vote in a full session.

In neighboring New Jersey, the number of coronavirus infected people doubled to 742 between Wednesday and Thursday, Governor Phil Murphy said. There were nine deaths in the state.

Image courtesy of Brooklyn Eagle

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