California becomes an empty state

California becomes the first US state to impose curfews

Almost 40 million people are affected by the measure. So far there have been 958 infections in California.

The US state of California has imposed a general curfew in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. It will apply from Thursday evening (local time), as Governor Gavin Newsom said. With 39 million inhabitants, California is the most populous state in the United States and also the first state to issue such a far-reaching requirement in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

The governor had previously stated that he expects over 25 million corona infections in the US west coast state if no drastic measures are taken to prevent the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen. Almost 60 percent of the population could contract the virus in the next eight weeks, Newsom wrote in a letter to US President Donald Trump published on Thursday. In some parts of California, the number of cases would double every four days.

Necessary government agencies, facilities such as banks and essential businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, should remain open. Restaurants can continue to deliver food, they are just no longer allowed to serve in rooms. Bars, fitness centers and meeting places have to close completely. Californians can still go for a walk, jog or cycle, but they have to keep their distance. The conditions are initially unlimited.

Hospital ship is to dock in the port

In a cover letter to Trump published on Thursday, the Democratic governor asked for a hospital ship to be dispatched immediately to dock in the port of Los Angeles. He has requested $ 1 billion federal aid from Congress in Washington for medical care and other relief efforts during the Covid-19 crisis, and large quantities of federal gloves and masks have already arrived in California.

As of Thursday, 958 cases of infection were known in California, 19 people had died of Covid-19. Several districts in the San Francisco area had already imposed a curfew earlier this week. Most schools and many businesses in the west coast state have closed. The mayor of Los Angeles on Thursday called on all residents of the metropolis to stay at home, except for important errands. In the greater Los Angeles area, shopping malls, playgrounds, and other non-essential businesses should be closed. These local restrictions are now being extended to the entire state with Newsom's "Stay at Home" order.

(APA / dpa / AFP)