Europe, US virus deaths surge as Trump decides against NYC lockdown

Updated: Mar 30, 2020, 07:27 IST | Agencies | Madrid

Trump's reversal came on the same day the US death toll topped 2,100, more than doubling in just three days

US National Guard soldiers handle COVID-19 swab tests at Lehman College in New York on Sunday. Pic/AFP
US National Guard soldiers handle COVID-19 swab tests at Lehman College in New York on Sunday. Pic/AFP

The Coronavirus death toll shot past 20,000 in Europe on Saturday, as US President Donald Trump decided against putting the hard-hit New York region under quarantine. Trump decided late Saturday against imposing a broad lockdown on New York and its neighbours after a strong pushback from local political leaders and warnings of the panic it could spark.

"A quarantine will not be necessary," Trump tweeted, about eight hours after he stunned New York metropolitan region — the epicentre of the US outbreak with a proposal to place it under quarantine. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, however, asked residents not to travel except for essential purposes.

Trump's reversal came on the same day the US death toll topped 2,100, more than doubling in just three days. Of the fatalities, more than a quarter were in New York.  Officials say they fear New York may follow the deadly path charted by Italy, with health officials exhausted and hospitals desperately short of protective equipment and ventilators.

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