Washington – With expanded protective measures, the United States wants to prevent the worst from the worsening corona crisis. The government’s efforts in Washington to curb the spread of the virus will also have consequences for travelers from Europe.
The entry stop, initially limited to one month, is to be extended, according to US President Donald Trump. These and similar restrictions would remain in force and may even be tightened, Trump said at a press conference in the White House rose garden. He left open until when the entry stop, which was supposed to expire in mid-April, should continue.
Measured by the number of confirmed infections, the United States is now the most severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic worldwide. There are already more than twice as many infections with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen than in China, where the lung disease COVID-19 was first detected: On Tuesday, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore recorded more than 164,700 cases. In China, the number is more than 82,270.
Trump announced on Sunday that the restrictive protective measures to curb the coronavirus epidemic in the US should be extended until the end of April. Since mid-March people from the Schengen area, Great Britain and Ireland can no longer travel to the USA. This does not apply to Americans, certain diplomats and Europeans who have long-term work permits in the USA, a so-called green card. Their relatives are also exempt. The regulation should initially apply for 30 days.
Government guidelines in Washington urge, among other things, the population in the crisis to keep their distance from each other and to avoid gatherings of more than ten people. Many states have already imposed stricter exit restrictions – starting with Florida, Virginia, Maryland and the capital Washington followed suit. According to a calculation by the “New York Times”, at least 261 million people in 31 states are now largely to remain at home. The Ministry of Homeland Security called on citizens to keep up to date with the applicable local guidelines.
Republican Senator and Trump confidante Lindsey Graham spoke on Tuesday for Fox News for “draconian” measures to combat the coronavirus. “The cure must be draconian in this case because the disease is so deadly,” he said.
A model that doctor Deborah Birx from the coronavirus working group in the White House also addressed on Sunday predicts a dark scenario for the coming weeks, despite protective measures: calculations by the IHME institute could target more than 2,000 people in the U.S. each day in mid-April the consequences of the pandemic are dying. The director of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, told CNN that the protective measures were effective, but the situation was serious. “We will overcome it and it will end,” he said.
In the fight against the coronavirus, the US has now tested more than a million people for the pathogen, according to Trump. “Today we have reached an important milestone in the war against the coronavirus,” said Trump. “We have done far more tests than any other country in the world.” That is true in absolute terms, but not in terms of population. For example, South Korea tested more people per capita than the United States.
Even though testing is significantly more in the US, there is still a shortage of tests. In a guest article for the Washington Post published online on Monday, Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan – who, like Trump, belongs to the Republicans – and Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer (Democrats) wrote: “There simply aren’t enough tests, medical supplies and other life-saving equipment, to cope with the scale of this pandemic. ”
In the United States, more than 3,300 people have died from or with COVID-19 lung disease. This comes from data from the Johns Hopkins University. Significantly more people have died in Italy and Spain. Trump expects the death toll to peak in just over two weeks.
The spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States has recently accelerated dramatically. For example, the number of known infections had only passed the 100,000 mark on Friday. Around 1,500 dead had been reported by then. The website of researchers at the University of Johns Hopkins is updated regularly with incoming data and therefore shows a higher level of confirmed infections than the official figures of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US health authority CDC.
Trump prepared Americans for dramatic coronavirus crisis casualties on Sunday. If it is possible to limit the death toll to 100,000 through containment measures, “then we all did a good job together,” said Trump. He was optimistic that the worst could be over by summer.
The situation in the US east coast state of New York with the metropolis of the same name is particularly worrying. Because the capacities of the hospitals there are not prepared to infect large sections of the population, provisional clinics are set up and existing facilities are expanded with additional beds. A Navy hospital ship also arrived in New York on Monday.
New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo appealed to medical staff in other US states on Monday: “I ask healthcare workers across the country: If the situation in your own community isn’t urgent, please come to New York.” Support for nurses and doctors is essential.
Another hotspot is California on the US west coast. At least 50,000 additional hospital beds are needed there to manage patient care during the corona crisis, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday. With a new initiative, he wants to mobilize an additional 37,000 doctors, nurses, nurses and pharmacists in the coming weeks, such as getting staff out of retirement or employing students, said the democrat.