WASHINGTON: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged the federal government to take over critical private companies and run them 24 hours a day to ensure a regular supply of essential medicines and equipment. “This is the best way to tackle the outbreak … the federal government needs to take over the supply chain right now,” he told CNN on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, New York City closed America’s largest public-school system, sending more than 1.1 million children home. So far, 24 states of America’s 50 states have closed their schools for month, hoping that such measures will curb the spread of coronavirus.

In Washington, the US Supreme Court postponed arguments scheduled for March and early April because of health concerns related to the pandemic.

In California, Los Angeles went into a lockdown never seen in modern times, The L. A. Times reported. “We need to take these steps to protect our city right now,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2020