Trump declares national emergency over COVID-19 as Queen Elizabeth cancels public engagements

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United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump has declared a national health emergency over the fast-spreading coronavirus that has killed no fewer than 41 people and infected 1,875 others in the country.

Trump said the move would open up access to $50 billion in federal funding to state and local governments to tackle the virus.

Insisting that the U.S. had done better in efforts to contain the virus compared to other affected countries, Trump said the declaration would unleash the full power of the country to defeat the virus.
Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace said on Friday that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, 93, has cancelled some public engagements for next week due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, changes are being made to the Queen’s diary commitments in the coming weeks,’’ a statement said.

The queen has cancelled visits to the Camden area of London and to Cheshire in northwest England.

The Palace said “in consultation with the medical household and government, Her Majesty’s forthcoming visits to Cheshire and Camden will be rescheduled. Audiences will continue as usual.’’

A spokesman for the royal couple said Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife, Camilla, have cancelled an upcoming tour of Bosnia, Cyprus and Jordan on British government advice.

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