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COVID-19: President Trump Unveils Plan To Reopen States In Phases

A three-phase plan has been announced to ease lockdown and governors have been given full authority to improvise

As US battles the coronavirus outbreak in the country, President Trump announced a three-phase plan for gradually reopening state economies in the coming months on April 16. The guidelines for “Opening up America Again” outlines a detailed plan for governors and authorities of various states on how to ease the lockdown systematically.  Under phase one, movie theatres, restaurants, sporting venues and places of worship can reopen provided they follow strict social distancing norms. Schools, daycare centres, shelters and bars will remain closed. In phase two, schools and other youth activities can reopen with proper mitigation. In phase three,  the states which satisfy the “gating criteria” and show “no evidence of a rebound”, can reopen rest of the activities while maintaining social distancing protocols. 

No specific dates were announced for the phases to unfold, however, each phase is expected to last for at least 14 days. While announcing the plan, Mr Trump said, “Now that we have passed the peak in new cases, we are starting our life again. We are starting rejuvenation of our economy again, in a safe and structured and a very responsible fashion. We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time.” In response to the guidelines, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on April 16 that his state would remain under stay-at-home orders until May 15, as the deaths toll in New York has risen to 13,202, highest in the entire country, therefore, making it the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in America.  

According to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as on April 18, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States is at 7,06,779 with 37,079 deaths, highest in the world.