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President Donald Trump arrives to address the nation from the White House on the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in the USA over the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Trump has made the corresponding statement during a special press briefing held at the White House.

The national emergency will allow the US to use federal funds to aid the states in combating the spread of the disease. Earlier, the US administration received $8.3 bln from Congress to contain the outbreak.

“To unleash the full power of the federal government to this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency – two very big words,” Trump said.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. On March 11, WHO officially characterized the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. The disease has spread to over 110 countries. According to official data, over 134,000 people have been infected with the virus globally, and over 5,000 have died.

Source: TASS, March 13, 2020