L’IT ISState of New York, epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States, observes “a doubling of the number of confirmed cases every three days”, declared Tuesday its governor Andrew Cuomo.
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Experts on virus projections are now seeing that the rate of new infections is doubling every three days or so. It’s a drastic increase in the infection rate, ”the governor said during a press briefing.
New York State now has more than 25,000 cases, nearly 10 times the number of confirmed cases in California, the second most affected state, he said.
Such a high infection rate means that the epidemic could reach its highest “in 14 to 21 days”, earlier than expected, he added, making the delivery of medical supplies even more urgent. starting with the respirators that New York has been demanding from the federal government for days.
This state of nearly 20 million inhabitants, which has so far assembled nearly 10,000 respirators, estimates that it still needs at least 30,000 more to cope with the expected influx of people in the hospitals.
He also revised upwards the need for additional hospital beds, to 140,000, while a first emergency hospital, being installed in Manhattan, should be operational within about eight days.
Cuomo also said New York will start testing several treatment methods.
Officials from the federal drug agency, the FDA, have arrived in New York to test a drug combination of chloroquine, a low-cost anti-malaria drug marketed as Nivaquine, and Zithromax, an antibacterial drug used to treat bronchitis.
These drugs have been presented by the federal government as promising in the face of the epidemic, although their effectiveness remains to be confirmed.
New York will also begin to collect plasma from patients who have been infected but now out of the woods, in order to inject it into critically ill patients, in the hope that they will benefit from the antibodies.
Finally, New York medical teams “are working on the development” of a test to detect antibodies to the coronavirus, according to Mr. Cuomo.
This “fairly simple” test, he said, would identify people who would now be immune to the virus, at least for a while, and therefore allow them to “return to work”, he said.
He did not say when that test might be available.