US President Donald Trump has announced the suspension of immigration amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Taking to Twitter, he said he will be "signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States".

He did not specify whether there would be any exceptions.

Travel to a number of countries remains restricted from the US, with land borders with Mexico and Canada only open for those returning home or for cargo.

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The announcement comes after a coronavirus briefing in which the President complained about the US media's coverage of his response to the pandemic.

At his press conference today, he complained about the US media, saying: "It used to be ventilators, ventilators, ventilators. Now it's testing, testing, testing."

He went on to claim that testing was going to be even easier for the US to handle than ventilators since "ventilators are big machines" and "you need a group of people that really know what they are doing".

"We are way advanced on testing," he added.

According to the World Health Organisation, around one in five people who catch COVID-19 will need hospital care. Those who are critically ill will need lung ventilation equipment to assist or replace breathing.

According to the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security, US hospitals might need as many as half a million additional ventilators during the pandemic.

Experts from Harvard Medical School predicted COVID-19 patients in the US would need 31 times as many ventilators to handle the virus.

Shortages have already been reported in some of the harder-hit areas, such as New York and Detroit.

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In New York City, the epicentre of the virus, 80 per cent of ventilated coronavirus patients did not survive.

"All around the country, we're highly concerned about ventilator shortages, so we're looking for every possible way to provide respiratory support to patients," Dr Mark Hepokoski, a UC San Diego critical care specialist, told the LA Times.

He noted that recognising which patients will recover with less aggressive treatments is not easy with a new disease, but it's essential.

On Sunday, Trump declared the US the "King of ventilators", saying he was "right on testing" the way he was "right" about the breathing devices.

"Just like I was right on Ventilators (our Country is now the 'King of Ventilators', other countries are calling asking for help-we will!), I am right on testing," he wrote on Twitter.

"Governors must be able to step up and get the job done. We will be with you ALL THE WAY!"

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Trump has received significant criticism from governors for not providing enough testing kits or ventilators for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

"But I still go back because the hardest thing of all, by far, by a factor of 20, is the ventilators. And now we're the king of ventilators. We have ventilators," he told reporters yesterday.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said the President was "delusional" for suggesting that states have sufficient testing kits and medical equipment.

"That's just delusional to be making statements like that," he said on CNN's State of the Union.

"We have been fighting every day for PPE. And we have got some supplies now coming in. We have been fighting for testing. It's not a — it's not a straightforward test. We don't even have enough swabs, believe it or not. And we're ramping that up. But for the national level to say that we have what we need, and really to have no guidance to the state levels, is just irresponsible because we're not there yet."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

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