New York, 14 March 2020 – Staff Reporter:
The Pakistan Mission to the United Nations and the Consulate General in New York announced the postponement of Pakistan Day reception set for March 23, hours after the mayor of this city, America’s largest, declared a state of emergency in a bid to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Expressing regrets over the postponement of the annual gathering at the Pakistan House in view of the serious situation here, a notification from the mission said, “We look forward to celebrating (the Pakistan National Day) with you on a future date.
“Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience.”
Speaking at a press conference at City Hall, Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that he would cut the legal occupancy of New York City’s bars and restaurants in half.
The mayor said he “won’t be surprised” if businesses end up closing, but, “These are the rules we will enforce from now on.”
“I can assure you, none of us wanted to take this action,” de Blasio said. “But it is the point where it’s necessary.”
The mayor told that the city had 95 confirmed cases of coronavirus, a rise from 42 from Wednesday that de Blasio called “troubling.”
“The last 24 hours have been very, very sobering,” he said.
De Blasio’s move came after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of 500 or more across the state to try to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, which de Blasio said could be a “six-month crisis.”
New York state as a whole has 216 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the lion’s share of which are a short distance away from New York City in New Rochelle, a city in Westchester County.