California's governor on Thursday issued a statewide "stay at home order" directing residents to leave their homes only when necessary during the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom said that modeling has shown that 56 percent of California residents were expected to contract COVID-19 over the next eight weeks, requiring nearly 20,000 more hospital beds than the state could currently provide.
The population of California is 39.56million.
Newsom earlier on Thursday asked President Donald Trump to send a US Navy hospital ship to the port of Los Angeles "immediately" as the state braces for the expected surge in the number of coronavirus cases.
He said Los Angeles, as the nation's second-largest city, would likely be "disproportionately impacted" by the pandemic in the coming weeks.
In a separate letter sent to U.S. congressional leaders, the governor asked for additional federal funding for unemployment insurance and social safety net programs and aid to small businesses, schools and universities.
Trump said earlier this week the Navy hospital ships Mercy and Comfort would be pressed into service, one on each coast, as healthcare systems become badly strained during the pandemic.
CNN reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed U.S. defense official, that the Mercy would be sent from San Diego to the Seattle area, site of one of the nation's worst outbreaks of the respiratory illness that has killed 187 people nationwide and infected more than 11,000 others.
Newsom said in a letter to Trump that Los Angeles, as the nation's second-largest city, would likely be "disproportionately impacted" by the pandemic in the coming weeks.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday introduced a $1 trillion-plus package of legislation to provide direct financial help for Americans, relief for small businesses and their employees, steps to stabilize the economy, and support for healthcare professionals and coronavirus patients.
Newsom said Wednesday that modeling has shown more than 60,000 homeless people could become ill with the coronavirus in California over the next eight weeks, overwhelming hospitals.
This comes as London is not going into lockdown over coronavirus despite increasing calls for it to do so.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied plans of a lockdown on Thursday afternoon at the daily press conference to update the public on developments in the public health crisis.
He will not be closing pubs and restaurants, nor will London's public transport system be closed.
Johnson said the evidence suggests Londoners are doing well at obeying social distancing advice, although acknowledged that in some areas of the city it is "patchy".
The death toll in the UK has risen to 137, with at least 2,626 confirmed cases. Almost 1,000 of those cases are in London.
Approximately four in 10 coronavirus-related deaths in the UK so far have been in London, PA reports, with 56 deaths occurring in the capital.
Officials have labelled London a "city of superspreaders" and said emergency measures were needed to contain the virus.
The Prime Minister said on Wednesday that a lockdown to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus was "under review".
There had been rumours that all travel in and out of London was to be banned imminently. The Government shot down those rumours earlier today and Johnson's comments echo that it's not on the cards yet.
Up to 40 Tube stations were closed on Thursday and a reduced rail service will start running from Friday.
Also speaking at Thursday's press conference, the Government's chief medical adviser Professor Chris Witty said the pressure on London's healthcare systems will increase.
He said A&E and respiratory care in hospitals will come under pressure and the number of coronavirus cases will continue to rise in the next two weeks.
Even if social distancing measures prove effective, there will be a lag.
Professor Witty said there is evidence that a huge number of Brits are taking social distancing seriously, but we don't yet know if it will be enough to slow the spread of the virus.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan earlier said too many people are still using public transport when they shouldn't be.
"I can't say this clearly enough. People should not be travelling by any means unless they absolutely must. The scientific advice on this is very clear," he said to the London Assembly on Thursday.
"Londoners should be avoiding social interaction unless absolutely necessary and this includes avoiding the transport network.
"I want to see more Londoners following the expert advice, which means it's critical we see far fewer Londoners using our transport network than is currently the case."
Republic of Ireland's Government ordered all pubs to close their doors from midnight the day before St Patrick's Day.
- Donald Trump
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