Washington, March 23 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has approved California’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the most populous state’s COVID-19 emergency response efforts, Governor Gavin Newsom said.
The announcement on Sunday came hours after Newsom sent a letter to Trump to request the action in response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Earlier today we requested a presidential Major Disaster Declaration and this afternoon we got it,” said Newsom.
“The declaration will supplement our state’s comprehensive COVID-19 surge planning and make vital resources available.”
“We appreciate the quick response and partnership from the White House,” he added.
The Major Disaster Declaration enables individual assistance programs to assist those affected by the outbreak and lessen its economic impacts, according to media reports.
Also on Sunday, Trump activated the National Guard in three of the hardest-hit states — California, New York and Washington.
Washington state reported the first confirmed cases and deaths during the early days of the outbreak in the US.
It was later surpassed by New York state, which has now become the epicentre of the outbreak in the country.
California has ordered all of its residents to stay at home so as to slow the spread of the contagious disease.
Confirmed cases and fatalities both continued to surge nationwide, reaching 33,276 and 417, respectively, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.