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New York state confirms first COVID-19 case

New York state confirms first COVID-19 case

People walk in the rain while the New York skyline and the One World Trade Center are seen. (Photo: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

NEW YORK: New York state governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Sunday (Mar 1) night, as the US government said it would start screening travellers for the virus and hike production of protective masks.

Cuomo said on Twitter that a woman in her 30s contracted COVID-19 during a recent trip to Iran and was in quarantine in her home. He did not say where the woman lived.

"The patient has respiratory symptoms, but is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving in New York," Cuomo said.

He said there was no reason for "undue anxiety" and that the general risk remains low in New York.

At the federal level, President Donald Trump's administration scrambled on Sunday to reassure Americans as the disease spreads and businesses cancel conferences and flights.

READ: First US death from COVID-19 confirmed in Washington state

Explore: Real-time interactive map of all the confirmed cases reported around the world

Administration officials tried to calm market fears that the coronavirus could cause a global recession, saying the public had overreacted and that stocks would bounce back because of the underlying strength of the U.S. economy.

The first American died from coronavirus, a man in his 50s with underlying conditions in Washington state, officials said on Saturday. They still do not know how he contracted the disease.

The state on Sunday confirmed two other cases and locked down a long-term care facility where a resident and a worker also tested positive for coronavirus and 50 residents and staff are showing symptoms.

Over 70 cases have been reported in the United States, with most on the West Coast but new cases in the Chicago area and Rhode Island, aside from New York.

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Source: Reuters/aa

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