US President Donald Trump has said quarantining New York, which has emerged as the nation’s epicentre for the coronavirus, “will not be necessary”, after the state’s governor said doing so would be “preposterous”.

In a tweet, Trump said the latest decision was taken on the recommendation of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

The president had earlier said he might impose a quarantine on New York, and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s a preposterous idea, frankly,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told CNN on Saturday evening, hours after the president floated the idea of locking down parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to try to slow the coronavirus spread.

“Why you would want to just create total pandemonium on top of a pandemic I have no idea,” Cuomo said.

There are more than 52,000 cases in New York, which has about half of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the entire US.

Trump said that instead of quarantine, a “strong travel advisory” would be issued to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC then published a statement urging residents of those three states to “refrain” from all non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.

The agency said the advisory did not apply to “critical infrastructure” service providers, including healthcare professionals and food suppliers.

According to researchers at the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University, by Saturday night more than 116,000 Covid-19 cases had been recorded across the US with nearly 2,000 deaths. New York is by far the state heaviest hit.