has introduced the biggest raft of economic stimulus measures in American history – a $2.2tn package – to help employees and businesses as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the US economy.
Early on Saturday, the number of people confirmed to have contracted coronavirus in the US hit more than 104,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
The governor of New York, which has had 519 deaths and over 44,000 diagnosed cases, making it the highest tally of cases of any US state, warned the coronavirus crisis was far from over.
“This is a different beast that we are dealing with,” Andrew Cuomo told National Guard members working at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center which has been turned into a hospital. “This is an invisible beast. It is an insidious beast.”
He continued: “This is not going to be a short deployment. This is not going to be that you go out there for a few days. We work hard and we go home. This is going to be weeks and weeks and weeks. This is going to be a long day and it’s going to be a hard day, and it’s going to be an ugly day, and it’s going to be a sad day.”
More than 6,000 coronavirus patients are in hospital in New York with almost 1,600 currently in intensive care units. Healthcare professionals have raised concerns about shortages of staff, medical supplies, and medicine.
America has eased limits on distributing certain visas to Mexican agricultural labourers after being hit with a severe dearth of farmworkers in the wake of coronavirus chaos.
In the UK, 181 more people died from coronavirus in what was the steepest daily rise yet, increasing the national death toll to 759.
But Covid-19 tests for frontline NHS staff are to be trialled this weekend in an effort to get people back to work if their test comes back with the all-clear.
Some 919 new deaths from the virus have been announced in Italy – the largest number of lives the disease has claimed which any country has recorded in the space of 24 hours.