New York, the epicenter of the US coronavirus epidemic, has registered the worst death toll in one day on Tuesday since the beginning of the crisis. State Governor Andrew Cuomo reported that 731 virus-related deaths had occurred, a very high number, almost one hundred more than the previous highest record (630, last Saturday). The figure is known after two days in which the daily death rate had dropped below 600 deaths and it was hoped that it would be an indication of stagnant death rates.
The bad data, however, does not hide that there are also signs for hope in the country’s worst hit territory, where, according to the governor, “social distancing is working.” The number of new infections was 8,147, the lowest in the last week, and the third consecutive one below the 10,000 threshold. The best news, however, is in the data on hospitalizations and ICU admissions, which, after all, is the great concern of the epidemic, due to its risk of collapsing the hospital system and multiplying the number of deaths. Since March 25, the daily hospitalizations have exceeded -except in one day- a thousand daily, but that rate has been cut and now the average for the last three days is 529. The decrease is more pronounced in ICU admissions, where it has gone from a peak of 395 cases on April 3 to 89 of the latest data.
“The curve is flattening out,” Cuomo said with cautious optimism Monday, and Tuesday’s numbers have given more reason for hope.
Cuomo has insisted that if there is a change in the upward trend of the last two weeks, it will only be confirmed if the citizens maintain discipline in social distancing. The past few days, New York has enjoyed spring temperatures and the parks have filled with people for walks or exercise, activities allowed by the confinement order as long as physical distance is met. The governor warned that these measures are necessary not only for the contagion curve to flatten, but also for it not to stagnate, which puts a lot of pressure on the hospital infrastructure. He recalled that in the 2018 pandemic, the peak in New York remained for months and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Cuomo also confirmed that the USNS Comfort, the hospital ship of the US Navy. Moored on the Hudson River docks, it will be devoted entirely to coronavirus sufferers, a decision already made with the temporary hospital at the Javits Convention Center, which can accommodate 2,500 hospital beds. The ship, which has a capacity of 1,000 hospital beds, will have 500 when it is transformed to serve patients of the epidemic, since it requires a greater space between patients. .