New York City is taking more drastic measures in a bid to tackle the current coronavirus pandemic and will close all cinemas and music venues.
As President Donald Trump imposes a travel ban on European countries, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced his intentions to close down major areas. The news has come after the United States confirmed 3,802 cases of coronavirus with a large percentage being in the state of New York.
“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” de Blasio said in a post on social media. “We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbours. Now it is time to take yet another drastic step.”
De Blasio added: “Tomorrow, I will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM.”
“This is not a decision I make lightly. These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality. We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers.”
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of 16 March, more than 173,000 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 6,600 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 150 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy and Spain, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.