In a striking move, 40 million Californians have been ordered to stay at home by Gavin Newsom, the Governor of their state. California is one of the main centres for the coronavirus in the US, although with fewer cases than New York at the moment. BBC US Correspondent David Willis told the Today show there was “no doubt” the order would be “enforced”.
He told Radio 4: “Citing a model that state planners have been using, Governor Newsom predicts that more than half the population of California will be affected by the virus.
“That’s 25 million people over the course of the next eight weeks.
“That prediction also runs that Los Angeles, which is America’s second-largest city, will be disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.
“Mr Newsom said that cases of the coronavirus were doubling ever four hours in some parts of California.”
Mr Willis continued: “This is the most drastic measure that any state Governor has taken to control the coronavirus.
“It’s a step actually that New York, which has more cases than California, has so far resisted.
“The state’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, has now issued an order covering the entire state of more than 40 million people.
“He has called on them to leave home only when strictly necessary, to get food or to collect medicine or to care for a relative or a friend.”
The BBC correspondent added: “Shops and shopping malls will be closed as well as most coroporate offices.
“Grocery stores and pharmacies, he says, will stay open.
“Healthcare workers and the essential municipal workers like bus drivers will still be working.”
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Mr Willis also said: “But there’s no end to date set for this stay-at-home order.
“The Governor says it’s a dynamic situation.
“There’s no doubt at all that it will be enforced.
“Although it doesn’t appear at the moment that the police will be involved to actually check on it being enforced.
“But nonetheless they are determined that something has to be done.”
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