The United States crossed the threshold of 300,000 cases on Saturday, more than a third of which are located in New York State alone, which today totals almost as many Covid-19 patients as Italy or Spain.
The state, where the largest city in the country is located, recorded 630 new deaths in one day, its worst 24-hour toll, and now deplores 3,565 deaths out of the more than 8,100 recorded in the United States.
Unlike Spain and Italy, where the balance sheets are heavier, “we have not yet reached the peak” of the epidemic, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference.
“But we are getting closer,” he added, citing estimates ranging from four to fourteen days before hoping for a slowdown in contaminations.
China donates 1,000 respirators
To avoid overcrowding hospitals at the height of the crisis, local authorities are in a race against time to strengthen their capacities.
“When we started, our first concern was to have enough beds, now we focus on equipment and personnel,” said Andrew Cuomo, judging not to be “ready” for the peak yet.
Among the most glaring needs: respirators essential to the survival of the most affected patients.
“The Chinese state will donate 1,000 respirators due to arrive at JFK airport today,” Cuomo said, especially thanking Jack Ma, founder of Chinese online retail giant Alibaba.
The state of Oregon on the west coast is also due to deliver 140 respirators, he added.
In addition, he said, the field hospital opened in a Manhattan conference center will ultimately be well devoted to Covid-19 patients, and will be able to accommodate 2,500. The federal state will provide its personnel, he said.
Donald Trump then announced that a thousand military medics and nurses would be deployed to New York to help fight the virus, without specifying where they would be assigned. “They are going to war, they are going for a battle they were never really prepared for,” the president said.
Calling all caregivers
For his part, the Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio called on all health professionals to mobilize.
“Doctors, nurses, breathing specialists … to all those who are not already in the battle: we need you”, launched the democratic councilor in a video posted on his Twitter account.
“We need 45,000 health professionals to join the fight in April and May to be able to get out of this,” added Bill de Blasio.
At the state level, 85,000 people have already volunteered, including 22,000 from outside, according to Cuomo.
Andrew Cuomo, for his part, has indicated that he will sign an executive order authorizing medical students who are due to graduate in the spring to work now.
“It’s an exceptional period and New York needs help,” he said.
“Given that we have skills that seem necessary and valuable at the moment, it was an easy decision to make,” Gabrielle Mayer, a fourth-year medical student at New University, said in a press conference. York, who will begin her hospital internship early.
On a positive note, Cuomo noted that despite the rising death toll, two-thirds of New Yorkers hospitalized were managing to recover and be discharged from hospitals.
“We’ll get out of this eventually, we’ll reach the other side of the mountain. But we have to do what needs to be done in the meantime, ”he added.