Trump drops idea of coronavirus lockdown

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US President Donald Trump has backed away from imposing a quarantine in the New York area, instead directing a “strong Travel Advisory” be issued to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

The announcement on Twitter came late on Saturday as criticism grew over Trump’s earlier call to prohibit travel in and out of virus hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The United States now accounts for the highest number of coronavirus infections of any nation, recording more than 122,000 confirmed cases on Saturday. The death toll in the country surged past 2,000, more than double the figure from two days ago.

In Spain, the number of deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the new virus, rose to 5,690, and in hard-hit Italy, the death toll jumped above 10,000.

Worldwide, the number of cases has reached more than 660,000. More than 30,000 have died while some 139,000 people have recovered.