23:56 GMT30 October 2020
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    COVID-19 Puts Nations on Hold (286)

    NEW YORK (Sputnik) - Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will assist Albany in developing a first-ever major 'test and trace' program to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

    "Michael Bloomberg has volunteered to help us develop and implement the tracing program," Cuomo said, adding that the former "has tremendous insight, both governmentally, and from a private-sector business perspective in this."

    The program will focus on advancing the capacity to test for COVID-19, as well as trace and isolate those who have contact with infected individuals.

    According to Cuomo’s office, Bloomberg Philanthropies has contributed $10.5 million to help implement the new program.

    "In coordination with the downstate region and the neighboring states of New Jersey and Connecticut, New York will build a 'tracing army', comprised of personnel from the State Department of Health and investigators from various state agencies", Cuomo said.

    The so-called tracing army will  recruit 35,000 medical students from the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University (CUNY). Johns Hopkins University will also develop an online curriculum and training program.

    Cuomo pointed out that countries such as Germany, Singapore and South Korea have used contact-tracing successfully and have been able to start the reopening process quickly.

    On Tuesday, following a meeting with US President Donald Trump, Cuomo announced the state's partnership with the federal government aimed at performing 40,000 COVID-19 tests per day. Currently, New York is reported to be performing an estimated 20,000 tests daily.

    COVID-19 Puts Nations on Hold (286)


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