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Cali locks; UN calls for action

作者:admin 2020-12-09

Cali locks; UN calls for action

A consumer pushes a shopping cart at the parking lot of a Costco Warehouse in Los Angeles, the United States, on Nov. 20, 2020. (Xinhua)

An overwhelming majority of California's residents went into lockdown on Monday, putting 33 million people under stay-at-home orders as the US battles record novel coronavirus deaths and the United Nations (UN) announced new courses of international action.

The lockdown in America's most populous state forced most offices to close and banned gatherings among different households, while bars and services, such as hair salons, were shut and restaurants only allowed to serve takeaways.

"The overwhelming majority of Californians are now in this new stay-at-home order protocol," said Governor Gavin Newsom, who earlier warned that the state hospital system was at risk of being "overwhelmed."

The US' floundering efforts to quell the COVID-19 pandemic have been widely criticized, with a daily death toll of more than 2,500 for five days in a row last week.

The total number of deaths in the US reached 283,621 late Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University, with 1,390 fatalities in the previous 24 hours alone. 

US President Donald Trump and senior officials have repeatedly downplayed the risks while ignoring basic public health measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing at mass rallies and White House events.

Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, 76, tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized Sunday, the latest member of the president's inner circle to contract the disease.

The former New York mayor has been crisscrossing the country - often appearing maskless - leading Trump's unsuccessful effort to undo Joe Biden's victory in the November 3 election.

Biden on Monday vowed that his incoming administration would be "ready on day one to mobilize every resource of the federal government... and restore the belief that there is nothing beyond America's capacity."

When the president-elect takes office on January 20, he will be immediately responsible for an immunization drive set to launch in December in a bid to gain control of a pandemic that has killed 280,000 people in America.

The US is expected to grant emergency authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week, and it hopes to vaccinate millions of people by the end of 2020.

As countries begin gearing up for mass vaccinations, the UN General Assembly moved to make December 27 the "International Day of Epidemic Preparedness," with the body calling on the World Health Organization to help facilitate the day's observance.

AFP

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