The rising number of New York coronavirus deaths has remained “virtually unchanged” in the past two days, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday, giving a glimmer of hope that the state could be at a peak even as the country prepares for what the Trump administration is doing is calling the “toughest week” in the fight against the pandemic.
While the state has recorded a total of 4,758 deaths, another 599 from the previous day, this is only a slight increase from the 594 added two days ago, Cuomo said, and shows a “possible flattening of the curve” that is “better than that” increases we have seen. “
He added that the total number of hospital stays, intensive care admissions, and intubations have decreased, due to the fact that people have largely complied with applicable social distancing guidelines in the past three weeks and are adopting a new way of life that will Troubled the country’s workforce. But he advised that “now is not the time to be negligent” and that even if New York does not see a steady increase in cases and may be at its peak, it could remain stuck on this plateau for a painfully long time.
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“If we reach a plateau, we will reach a plateau at a very high level,” the governor told reporters during his daily briefing from the state capital, Albany. “We are on a red line. People cannot work harder. Employees cannot work harder. Staying at this level is problematic.”
Cuomo said he was expanding his executive order, closing schools and keeping unnecessary workers at home until April 29.
New York remains at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, with over a third of all cases in the United States and approximately half of the deaths, which has put huge strain on the state’s health system. Health workers have complained about the lack of personal protective equipment and the need for more resources, including personnel, as the crisis worsens.
Two field hospitals in Manhattan – one in Central Park and the other in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center – are in full swing to relieve congested hospitals.
Adm. US Department of Health Deputy Health Secretary Brett P. Giroir warned Monday “TODAY” that other virus hotspots, including New Jersey and Detroit, could be reached in addition to New York’s peak number of hospitalizations and deaths this week.
Other locations where the coronavirus has spread rapidly, including New Orleans, are unlikely to reach their peak until later.
“Nobody is immune to this virus. It is a brand new virus,” said Dr. Giroir. “Whether you live in a small town in America or in the Big Apple, everyone is vulnerable to it, and everyone has to follow the precautions we set,” he said, referring to continued social distancing.
At the weekend, Dr. White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx urged all Americans to restrict even important trips to grocery stores and pharmacies to curb the spread of the virus and save lives. She declined to say how many people could die in the worst affected areas.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Meet the Press on Sunday that this week will be a Pearl Harbor and 9/11-like moment, given the exponential increase in COVID-19 deaths from the virus-related illness.
This feeling was confirmed in a memo on Sunday to the staff at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University, in which chief physician Dr. Craig Smith gave a clear assessment of what they would see in the coming days.
The fight against the virus, he wrote, is “our Gettysburg, our Somme, our Iwo Jima, our Khe Sanh, our Fallujah”.
“I know we are waist-high in the fog of war,” added Smith.
Dr. Bret Rudy, senior vice president at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, said he anticipated that this week, the hospital, which already has one of the district’s busiest emergency rooms, will be busy.
“We continue to see patients in ICU care as these numbers change,” Rudy said on MSNBC Monday. “We already have plans for how we’ll take care of increasing numbers if it becomes necessary in the next week.”
However, it remains unknown whether New York can use its resources and medical care effectively if it deals with other cases during this peak week. Cuomo, who said on Monday that “everyone has overcapacity”, was confident that New York would be ready.
Cuomo tweeted Monday night that President Donald Trump agreed to allow USNS Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship temporarily docked in New York City, to accept coronavirus patients.
This means 1,000 additional beds with federal staff.
This will relieve our overused hospital systems.
– Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 6, 2020
The ship was originally brought into the city to host non-COVID-19 cases to help overwhelmed hospitals. However, Cuomo said the relocation was necessary because fewer pandemic-free traumas without corona virus occurred during the pandemic.
On Monday morning, the Javits Center reported that 36 patients had been cared for, including some who did not have the coronavirus. It has a capacity of 2,500 beds.
Around 40 coronavirus patients, including three in the intensive care unit, were treated on Monday in the Central Park field hospital, which was built in 48 hours and resembles a tent city, Dr. Elliott Tenpenny on MSNBC. The facility can accommodate almost 70 beds and can accommodate 10 patients who need ventilators. The youngest patient is 20 years old.
Patients “could be here for weeks,” said Tenpenny of Samaritan’s Purse, the Evangelical Christian organization that set up the field hospital. “Even two to three weeks for the sick patients.”
During a press conference on Monday at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded local businesses that have transformed their businesses into sewing reusable hospital gowns and masks.
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He said 9,200 dresses would be made by the end of the day, and around 320,000 would be made by the end of April. Last week, hospitals across the city used a total of 1.8 million surgical gowns, and an additional 2.5 million are expected to be needed this week.
“We will leave no stone unturned,” said de Blasio when securing more personal protective equipment for hospital workers. “We will be as creative as we have to be.”
However, New York City Council spokesman Corey Johnson said that resources are still urgently needed and that America’s largest city will need around 1,000 to 1,500 fans to achieve capacity for the next week, and that the 600,000 N95 masks, which she received from the federal government, “a fraction of what we need.”
Even so, Cuomo said on Monday that no one in New York City had died from a ventilator or lack of hospital staff.
With the corona virus showing no signs of waning in the long run, another concern remains – how New York City can keep up with the number of burials.
Mark Levine, chairman of the New York City Council’s Health Committee, initially tweeted on Monday that a city park will be required to cover the rise, as cemeteries cannot handle the volume of the bodies. New York officials wanted “to avoid scenes like the one in Italy where the military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even from the street.”
But the chief’s office replied that it was not considering temporary burials in New York’s parks, and Levine went back on his comments and tweeted, “If the mortality rate drops enough, it won’t be necessary.”
De Blasio also told reporters that “if we have to do temporary burials, we have the option,” but the city is “not where we’re going to go.”