NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — So far, the deadly coronavirus virus has killed 361 people, with the Philippines reporting the only death outside of China.
Around the world, there are more than 17,000 possible cases.READ MORE: Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Fire Island Beach
Strict new travel restrictions took effect across the country Sunday, requiring anyone arriving from mainland China to undergo additional screening. The threat of the deadly virus spreading across the Tri-State Area has many worried. Lawmakers are doing what they can to ease concerns, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
The streets seemed lively in Chinatown on Sunday, as lion dancers and drummers prepared for the annual Chinese New Year Parade.
But in reality, the community is already battling the effects of the coronavirus, even though the disease hasn’t officially arrived.
“We have heard reports that many business in Chinatown, and in Flushing, Sunset Park and other parts of the city have seen a downturn in business,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said.
The manager at Bite of Hong King told Fan that since news of the outbreak broke, he started getting cancellations for dinner parties and business has declined by 60%.
“Right now, the restaurant is preparing to have employees stay home or cut shifts. What else can we do?” Michael Cheng said.READ MORE: Attorney General's Office Opens Investigation Into Fatal Shooting Involving NYPD Officer Yvonne Wu
Officials tried assuaging the public on Sunday, saying there is absolutely no reason to be fearful. Of the 14 suspected New York cases of coronavirus sent to the Centers for Disease Control for testing, 11 have come back negative.
The 12th, 13th and 14th are all pending. Health officials said results should be known for all three within 36-48 hours. The patient in the initial case has been reported in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital . In the second case, which was announced earlier Sunday night, officials said the patient is a 60-year-old man who is in stable condition at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.
Mayor Bill de Blasio later confirmed the third case. CBS2 has learned that patient is at New York-Presbyterian Queens.
We can now confirm a 3rd case is being investigated. We’ll share more information as we get each set of test results back.
New York City has the strongest public health system in the nation — I want every New Yorker to know we’re taking every possible precaution as we respond. https://t.co/Q4qH1nyPGd
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) February 3, 2020
Despite these cases, risk to the general public remains low, officials said.
“There is no need to cast aspersions on an entire community because this is happening,” state Sen. John Liu said.
At an afternoon press conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo also tried calming nerves, saying the state is working closely with Port Authority to impose new screening protocols at airports that started Sunday. No foreign nationals who have had contact with mainland China in the past 14 days will be permitted to enter the U.S.
“There is no reason to panic. There is no reason to have an inordinate amount of fear about this situation. There are different viruses that develop,” Cuomo said.
Health officials said their preparedness to contain the virus is very high. In perspective, the flu has been much deadlier so far this year.MORE NEWS: Ray Of Hope For Irate Retirees After New York City Changes Health Benefits For 250,000 Workers
“In the United States since the flu began in October, there have been over 15 million people with the flu and we’ve had over 20,000 people who died,” state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said.