New York State to Ease Lockdown on Friday

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his news conference on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, in state capital, Albany, where he announced he was extending the coronavirus restrictions till May 15. (Photo: NY Governor's Office/IANS). by .
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his news conference on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, in state capital, Albany, where he announced he was extending the coronavirus restrictions till May 15. (Photo: NY Governor's Office/IANS).
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New York, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, will end its statewide shutdown on Friday by reopening three regions where the health crisis has shown signs of weakening, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Addressing the media on Monday, Cuomo said three regions in the northern part of the state — the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, and the Finger Lakes — will enter the first of four reopening phases, reports Xinhua news agency.

Some low-risk businesses including landscaping and gardening, as well as recreational activities such as tennis can also resume across the state on Friday, said the Governor.

“We are starting a new chapter in the fight against this virus — we’ve worked together as a state to flatten the curve and the decline has finally reached a point where it is just about where we started this journey, so now we can turn to reopening,” said Cuomo.

The seven metrics for determining whether a region could reopen include decline in total hospitalizations, decline in deaths, new hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, diagnostic testing capacity and contact tracing capacity.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his news conference on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, in state capital, Albany, where he announced he was extending the coronavirus restrictions till May 15. (Photo: NY Governor's Office/IANS). by .
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his news conference. (Photo: NY Governor’s Office/IANS).

Industries including construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chain, agriculture, forestry and fishing could restart operating during the first phase, and a two-week monitoring period is required before entering the next phase, Cuomo said.

If a region sees a failure in meeting all the seven metrics, the reopening effort would be paused until those metrics are met again, he said.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that non-essential businesses will not reopen before June “unless something miraculous happens”.

He saidthat the city, which has reported over 185,000 COVID-19 cases, was “clearly not ready yet”, while “by June we will make progress if we keep up what we have been doing”.

New York state has also reported as many as 93 cases of children with a rare inflammatory syndrome likely linked to COVID-19, said Cuomo.

He said at least three children have died, while two more fatalities were under investigation.

NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2018 (Xinhua) -- Tourists visit the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York, the United States, Jan. 22, 2018. New York City's iconic landmark the Statue of Liberty reopened Monday at the expense of state funds following a brief closure as a result of the U.S. federal government shutdown. According to a news release published on New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo's website, the cost of keeping the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island open is 65,000 U.S. dollars per day. (Xinhua/Wang Ying/IANS) by .
Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York, the United States.

According to Cuomo, the syndrome has features that resemble those of Kawasaki Disease or Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Most of the kids have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies or novel coronavirus, though the connection between the disease and the virus is not yet determined.

This new condition has been reported from across the country during the past week, and the state’s health department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop national criteria to help health experts in other 49 states to identify and respond to the disease.

So far, a total of 337,055 COVID-19 cases have been reported in New York state, accounting for 25 per cent of the national total, with 26,721 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

New York's Times Square is almost deserted on Saturday, March 14, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Called the “Crossroads of the World,” Times Square is usually crowded with tourists from around the world and New Yorkers on a weekend. (Photo: Arul Louis/IANS) by .
New York’s Times Square is almost deserted. (Photo: Arul Louis/IANS)

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