A gigantic New York cathedral as a makeshift hospital, cold lorries for corpses and a debate about burials in parks: the USA is now one of the focal points of the coronavirus pandemic. And yet there are signs of hope that the authorities will slowly get the crisis under control, including in the states of Washington and California that were hit first.
According to the Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday, almost 11,000 people in the United States have died from the lung disease Covid-19 caused by the virus. Only in Italy and Spain is the death toll even higher.
In terms of the number of confirmed infections, the United States ranks first by a large margin. According to the Johns Hopkins University, more than 368,000 infections have been confirmed there so far. However, this is also due to the fact that tests are now being carried out on a large scale in the USA.
130,000 infected and 4,750 dead in New York
The epicenter of the crisis in the USA is the state of New York with the metropolis of the same name. More than 130,000 infections and more than 4,750 deaths have already been confirmed there, as Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday. He announced that the drastic measures taken to combat the spread of the virus would be extended until the end of April. Schools and non-essential stores would be closed until April 29th.
Cuomo said at the same time that the increase in deaths has now been stable for two days. This is an indication that the curve may flatten out.
California’s health experts were confident that they could get the epidemic under control, among other things with large-scale virus tests and the creation of additional treatment capacities. Washington State sent 400 ventilators to New York.
However, experts unanimously agree that the worst is yet to come. The conditions in the metropolis of New York, where almost 3,500 people died as a result of the virus by Monday, are particularly devastating.
The hospitals are so overloaded that field hospitals are to be set up in the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Divine as well as in Central Park. A total of nine air-conditioned tents for around 200 patients are to be set up in the bishop’s seat, which is known for its animal blessings, said Dean Clifton Daniel of the “New York Times”.
In view of the overburdened undertakers with the many dead, more and more refrigerated trucks are already standing in front of the hospitals. A representative of the Manhattan City Council, Mark Levine, has already suggested that the dead be buried temporarily in public parks. However, the mayor’s spokeswoman immediately made it clear that the authorities were considering the possibility of provisional burials in an emergency – but not in parks.
Chaotic conditions in primaries
The pandemic is also causing chaos for presidential primaries in the key election year 2020. The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday invalidated a decree by Governor Tony Evers that postponed the primaries scheduled for Tuesday in his state. Representatives of the Republican Party had appealed to the court in an urgent motion against the Democrat’s decree, which was only a few hours old.
15 US states have already postponed their primary elections to determine the presidential candidates because of the pandemic. US President Donald Trump and the favored Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden meanwhile had a phone call about the measures to be taken in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. It was a “really wonderful, warm conversation,” said Trump in the White House.
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