NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) - Officials in New York City declared a public health emergency due to the spread of the monkeypox virus on Saturday (Jul 30), calling the city “the epicentre” of the outbreak.

The announcement on Saturday by Mayor Eric Adams and health commissioner Ashwin Vasan said that as many as 150,000 city residents could be at risk of infection. The declaration will allow officials to issue emergency orders under the city health code and amend code provisions to implement measures to help slow the spread.

In the last two days, New York Governor Kathy Hochul made a state disaster emergency declaration and the state health department called monkeypox an “imminent threat to public health”.

New York had recorded 1,345 cases as of Friday, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California had the second-most, with 799.

“We will continue to work with our federal partners to secure more (vaccine) doses as soon as they become available,” Adams and Vasan said in the statement. "This outbreak must be met with urgency, action and resources, both nationally and globally, and this declaration of a public health emergency reflects the seriousness of the moment.”

The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency on Jul 23.