New York Governor Kathy Hochul has issued a Covid-19 'disaster emergency' Photograph:( AFP )
Earlier, the governor had warned that several options, including a state emergency declaration and calling in health care workers from the National Guard, are on the table
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has issued a Covid-19 "disaster emergency" declaration on Friday amid a surge in cases and hospitalisations. Earlier, the governor had warned that several options, including a state emergency declaration and calling in health care workers from the National Guard, are on the table to address hospital staffing shortages.
In a statement, Hochul said, "I am monitoring the staffing situation closely and we have a plan to increase our health care workforce and help alleviate the burdens on our hospitals and other health care facilities."
"I commend all of the health care workers who have stepped up to get themselves vaccinated, and I urge all remaining health care workers who are unvaccinated to do so now so they can continue providing care."
This comes at a time when a new variant of Covid-19, Omicron, has raised concerns.
Global authorities are taking precautions for curbing the spread of this new variant. As a 'precautionary measure', the US will be restricting travel from South Africa and seven other southern African countries, including, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. Starting from Monday, only US citizens and residents will be allowed to travel from the region.
US President Joe Biden, in a statement, deemed it as a "precautionary measure." He further said that moving forward he will be “guided by what the science and my medical team advises.”
The World Health Organisation classified the new coronavirus strain detected in South Africa as a "variant of concern."
(With inputs from agencies)