President Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus outbreak as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the US.

The declaration – “two very big words”, according to Mr Trump – allows the federal government to tap up to $50bn (£40bn) in emergency relief funds. The move loosens regulations on the provision of healthcare and could speed up testing – the slow pace of which has been criticized widely.

There are 1,701 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US, and 40 deaths. Several US states have taken measures to stem the infections rate, including banning large gatherings, sporting events and closing schools.

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