Coronavirus: Five more states report cases, as Trump claims virus has been ‘stopped’ and will 'go away'

Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada and New Jersey have now reported cases of the virus, despite the president's claims

Coronavirus: democrat lawmaker slams Trump's slow response in testing for Covid-19 California

Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada and New Jersey have reported their first cases of coronavirus as President Donald Trump yet again erroneously claimed that the spread of the virus had been “stopped”.

Speaking at the White House after signing the $8.3bn emergency bill to counter the spread of the virus, Mr Trump urged people to be calm and said: “It will go away.”

“In terms of cases, it’s very, very few because we have been very strong at the borders.”

He added: “This came unexpectedly, it came out of China, we closed it down, we stopped it, it was a very early shut down.”

In reality, the number of US cases now stands at 231 in 22 states. This grew by almost 70 cases on Thursday and 35 on Wednesday according to figures from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health agencies, and hospitals, collated by The New York Times.

Speaking on CNN on Friday morning, Congressman John Garamendi of California was asked to respond to the president’s claims. He told Jim Sciutto: “If only it were true. The facts are quite different and since we have very, very limited testing, we really don’t know. In a public health emergency, you have to know what’s going on, that requires testing in this situation. And unfortunately we have been very, very slow to the testing.”

Meanwhile in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that there are now 33 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, with five people hospitalised. In an attempt to prevent the further spread of the virus, the governor said that 4,000 people across the state are in quarantine as a precaution – 2,700 in New York City, 1,000 in Westchester and 70 in Nassau County. Of that total, 44 people are in mandatory quarantine, including 33 in Westchester, nine in NYC and one in Nassau County.

Of the states announcing their first cases, in Colorado an out-of-state visitor has presumptively tested positive at state-level and is awaiting confirmation from the CDC in a Denver hospital. An elderly woman in Douglas County, who recently returned from a cruise, is self-isolating at home and being monitored.

On Friday morning, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb declared a public health emergency in his state after a man from Marion County was diagnosed with the virus after a recent trip to Boston. The man is in isolation.

In Maryland, three Montgomery County residents, a couple in their 70s and an unrelated woman in her 50s, were diagnosed and are said to be in good condition. They had recently returned from international travel and are isolated in their homes.

Governor Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency in Maryland to speed up the state’s response and delivery of resources. As yet there are no reported cases in neighbouring Virginia or the District of Columbia.

Montgomery County executive Marc Elrich called for calm and said the state had been preparing for weeks. “There is no reason to panic,” Elrich said. “Life as you know it should continue pretty much as it was.”

Nevada has seen two cases in quick succession in both Las Vegas and Reno. Washoe County officials say that the Reno case is a man in his 50s and is linked to the Grand Princess cruise ship outbreak. He is self-isolating at home and as has a relative at a local school, which the health department has ordered to be closed as a precaution.

The Las Vegas case is also a man in his 50s that recently returned from a trip to Washington state. Nevada health authorities are monitoring as many as 200 people statewide. The transient nature of populations in destination cities such as Las Vegas has raised concerns about the further spread of the virus.

New Jersey has confirmed two cases – a 32-year-old man from Fort Lee who works in New York City is being treated in isolation at Hackensack University Medical Center, and a woman in her 30s from Englewood in Bergen County is isolated at home. It is so far unclear how they were exposed to the virus.

In an effort to contain the spread of the virus, the number of people that have been ordered to self-quarantine due to potential exposure to those diagnosed with the virus has grown into the thousands.

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