New York City declares state of emergency to fight coronavirus spread

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is seen at a news briefing in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency to fight the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, allowing him to use new powers as the number of confirmed cases rose to 95 cases in the city.

“The last 24 hours have been very, very sobering,” he told at a news conference. “Literally yesterday morning feels like a long time ago.” He did not immediately issue new rules, but said he supported an announcement by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier on Thursday that banned gatherings of more than 500 people in the state.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Sandra Maler