Coronavirus: More than 500 die in New York overnight with 100,000 reported cases

The state's death toll rises to 2,935 in the largest single-day jump 

Danielle Zoellner
Friday 03 April 2020 17:26
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New York governor to sign executive order to redistribute medical equipment throughout state

New York state has had the biggest single-day death toll increase with 592 people dying from the coronavirus yesterday, the governor said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo started his daily press briefing on Friday with the grim news about the death toll increasing in the state.

The state's death toll rose to 2,935 people dying from the novel virus after posting its largest single-day increase.

"Highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started," Mr Cuomo said.

Coronavirus cases topped 100,000 in the state with 102,863 people testing positive, 57,159 of whom reside in New York City.

Officials are closely monitoring the rise in Covid-19 cases across the state to determine the areas of need. Long Island is a new area of concern given the increase of infections, the governor added.

More than 14,000 people are currently hospitalised from the virus.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of hospitalisations has been a concern for how it will overwhelm the hospital system. Medical supply shortages that include personal protective equipment (PPE), gowns, and ventilators has also been a concern as more Covid-19 patients require medical care.

New York state has scrambled to acquire ventilators to treat all the anticipated patients, as the virus tends to attack the upper respiratory system.

“It is unbelievable to me that … in the United States of America, we cannot make these materials and that we are all shopping China to try to get these materials," Mr Cuomo said.

In order to address the shortage of medical supplies in parts of New York, the governor said he would be signing an executive order allowing the state to redistribute ventilators and PPE from institutions that are not currently using them.

"Those institutions will either get their ventilator back or they will be reimbursed and paid for their ventilator so they can buy a new ventilator," he said. "I can't do anything more than that. But I'm not going to be in a position where people are dying and we have several hundred ventilators in our own state somewhere else."

Mr Cuomo added his own "personal word" equipment would be returned to the institutions or paid for by the state. 

This executive order comes one day after the governor said the state expects its need for ventilators will exceed the supply available in six days based on the current "burn rate". These ventilators are used on patients in the ICU to help them breathe. 

Previously, Mr Cuomo has asked the federal government to supply ventilators for the national stockpile. To date, New York has received 4,400 ventilators from the government. But the federal government has quickly depleted its own stockpile, so it's unable to provide the amount needed in New York and other states across the US. 

"We do not have enough ventilators. Period," Mr Cuomo said.

The governor has now pleaded with other states to lend ventilators to New York if there is an excess. He promised to assist other states once New York survived its peak in coronavirus cases, which is anticipated to hit in seven to 21 days.

“Help the place that has the crisis,” he said.

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