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3 NYC officers die, 11 pct on sick leave in COVID-19 fight

(Xinhua)    10:41, March 29, 2020

NEW YORK, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Three officers of the New York Police Department (NYPD) have lost their lives due to COVID-19 or its related complications, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said on Saturday, as the White House is considering to quarantine the hardest-hit city in the country.

"We've lost three members of our family in a little over 48 hours," he said while expressing condolences to the officers' families at a press briefing.

Since March 22 when all public gatherings were banned in the New York state, NYPD officers have been patrolling the city and telling people in groups to disperse, as well as dealing with other traditional crimes at the same time.

"It's impossible to eliminate risks. For first responders, you just don't have the opportunity to isolate," said the commissioner.

Meanwhile, over 4,000 NYPD officers have called out sick. The NYPD Daily Coronavirus Report released on Friday showed that 4,111 NYPD uniformed employees were on sick report, which accounts for 11.4 percent of the Department's uniformed workforce. There are also 442 uniformed members and 70 civilian members who tested positive for COVID-19.

New York City has reported over 29,000 COVID-19 cases and over 500 deaths as of Saturday afternoon. The nationwide confirmed cases have topped 120,000 and the death toll has climbed to more than 2,000, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he is considering a short-term quarantine for the state of New York as the situation of the coronavirus outbreak continued to get worse there.

Trump said he had spoke with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo about the lockdown. However, Cuomo expressed confusion over Trump's suggestion.

"I don't know how that could be legally enforceable, and from a medical point of view, I don't know what you would be accomplishing," Cuomo said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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