June 9, 2020, 2:45 p.m.
New York (dpa) A few weeks ago, horror images from New York hospitals went around the world. In the meantime, the number of corona cases has fallen sharply – and the unrest on the sidelines of the police protests has also subsided. The US metropolis is daring cautious steps back to normal.
Exactly 100 days after the first confirmed coronavirus infection, the metropolis of New York began with the first easing measures.
In the bright sunshine, jackhammers roared again, numerous shops opened for restricted business, and significantly more people were on the streets.
With the start of phase one of a four-stage opening plan for the state of New York, work on more than 32,000 construction sites and in the city’s factories can begin again. In addition, retailers can take orders over the phone and online and hand them over to their buyers in the store. Public traffic is not yet allowed in the shops. It is estimated that up to 400,000 people could return to work in the first phase of the opening plan. In order to avoid overcrowded subways, the city relies on bus transport. More than 30 kilometers of additional bus lanes would be shown at short notice, said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
After the first case on March 1, around 204,000 corona diseases have been confirmed in the metropolis of New York. Almost 17,200 deaths tested positive for Covid-19, the city is assuming an additional 4700 deaths that could also have been infected.
Today is the day we will start to get rid of this disease, Mayor de Blasio said at a press conference in the Brooklyn Harbor. This is the first day of the reopening, and it was made possible by the hard work of New Yorkers. However, masks are still necessary if a safety distance of around two meters cannot be maintained, and hygiene measures such as hand washing.
In the past two weeks, everyday life in New York was also characterized by protests against police violence and racism and a nocturnal exit ban imposed by the city. Property damage and looting occurred on the fringes of the demonstrations last week, so the lock was in effect from Tuesday to Saturday from 8 p.m. The background to the protests in the USA is the violent death of the African American George Floyd in a police operation in Minneapolis on May 25th.
The protests continued over the weekend and Monday, but remained peaceful. Hundreds of city officials demonstrated against the mayor’s handling of the crisis. Among other things, this did not prevent aggressive police behavior and arrests overnight. Last week, more than 400 current and former city employees asked in an open letter that the powers of the police be reduced.
Despite the relaxation, restaurants and bars remain closed for guests to sit down, but food and drinks outside the home are still allowed as before. Regular operations in offices are also still prohibited. The next opening phase should come into effect in two weeks at the earliest.