Coronavirus: San Francisco declares state of emergency

A state of emergency has been declared in the U.S. city of San Francisco amid rising fears of a coronavirus outbreak the citys mayor said Tuesday.

In a statement Mayor London Breed said there were no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the northern California city right now and the move was a precautionary step.

There are however eight confirmed cases in the state of California.

Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents the global picture is changing rapidly and we need to step up preparedness she said.

We see the virus spreading in new parts of the world every day and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm.

The declaration of an emergency allows city officials to assemble resources and personnel for a rapid response against any potential coronavirus case.

The U.S. is among more than 30 countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

It has reported a total of 53 confirmed cases; 40 were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was traveling in Asia three were repatriated from China and 14 were cases originating within U.S. borders.

Of the 14 U.S. cases eight are in California two in Illinois and one each in Washington Massachusetts Wisconsin and Arizona.

San Francisco is home to the oldest Chinatown in North America which also happens to be the largest Chinese enclave outside Asia with a population around 40000.

COVID-19 has claimed nearly 2800 lives around the world with more than 2700 in China alone.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international health emergency and said the global risk level remains high.

Source: Anadolu Agency