NY governor Andrew Cuomo, blaming alleged federal negligence when preventing new coronavirus from entering the U.S. from the United Kingdom, stated his administration is communicating with American airlines to stop the infection from spreading in New York.
According to the governor, British Airways has already agreed to include New York and New Jersey airports passengers on the list for COVID-19 screening prior to travel. Other 120 countries have taken the same prevention measures; however, a number of world states have completely banned travelers from UK.
Cuomo’s office also contacted Delta and Virgin airlines, but an agreement is yet to be reached.
“We’re not going to be victimized again,” said Andrew Cuomo. “The three airlines, British Airways, Delta and Virgin Atlantic daily are bringing several thousand passengers per day. I am asking those airlines to add New York state to the list of the 120 countries that require tests before the flights leave the UK for New York. If they do not agree voluntarily the New York State will pursue other options.”
While UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claims the new strain may be up to 70% more contagious than the current one, British health care authorities “assume” the newly developed vaccines will be effective against this new variant.
As almost 38,000 New Yorkers currently take their first Pfizer vaccine, Cuomo expects 630,000 new doses of Pfizer and Moderna to be delivered to the state this week. NY sees a surge of hospitalizations, as the number reaches 6,331, while positivity rates amount to 9,007 across New York (5.75%).
On Sunday, 109 New Yorkers died of the infection.
According to the governor, vaccine distribution is based on population density, meaning New York City and Long Island are getting a majority of doses.