Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus

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US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to help handle the growing outbreak of coronavirus.

The order allows the federal government to tap up to $50bn (£40bn) in emergency relief funds to help state and local health officials.

The move loosens medical insurance regulations, and could speed up the creation of new hospitals and the search for new treatments.

There are 1,701 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US, and 40 deaths.

Several US states have taken measures to stem the inflation rate, including banning large gatherings, sporting events and closing schools.

The virus originated in China last December, but Europe is now the “epicentre” of the global pandemic, the head of the World Health Organization has said.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives.

His comments came as several European countries reported steep rises in infections and deaths. Italy has recorded its highest daily toll yet – 250 over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1,266, with 17,660 infections overall.

source: bbc

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