Scrutiny over New York’s coronavirus outbreak response has deepened after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state recorded its highest single-day increase in virus deaths on April 7.
New York reported 731 deaths bringing the total to 5,489 deaths and 138,836 infections.
Authorities faced questions over their actions for at-risk people after an infected inmate at Rikers Island jail died.
Michael Tyson, 53, died waiting for a hearing over a non-criminal offence.
As of April 5, 286 inmates and 331 staffers in New York City’s jails have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The outbreak in NYC’s jail system is one of the worst at correctional facilities throughout the US, just as New York state leads the country in both total coronavirus cases and deaths since the virus reached the US.
Governor Cuomo disclosed that New York, which has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, saw its highest number of fatalities in a 24 hour period between April 6 and April 7.
The change came after New York had seen two days of slowing infection rates and fewer deaths.
However, Governor Cuomo said the three day average for cases had fallen. However, he warned that New Yorkers must continue to follow health guidelines to socially distance and stay indoors.
He also asked people to avoid large gatherings as religious holidays Passover and Easter approach.
Governor Cuomo has so far ordered the release of at least 1,100 prisoners. Responding to questions on Tuesday, an aide to the governor said the state was “continuing to evaluate” the situation in New York’s jails in relation to the virus.
The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded 5,000, while confirmed cases worldwide are reaching one million.
According to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks cornavirus figures globally, there were 884 deaths in the US in the last 24 hours, a new record.
The latest victims include a six-week-old baby. More than 216,000 are now infected, the world’s highest figure.
Reserves of protective equipment and medical supplies are almost exhausted.
The Trump administration says it can acquire adequate supplies, and has $16 billion available to do so. State and local officials have complained about insufficient protective equipment such as masks and gowns as well as ventilators, needed to help keep patients breathing.
Meanwhile, VP Mike Pence warned the US appeared to be on a similar trajectory as Italy where the death toll has exceeded 13,000 – the worst in the world.
The number of confirmed infections across the US rose by more than 25,000 in one day. The worst-hit place is New York City, where nearly 47,500 people have tested positive and more than 1,300 have died.
According to officials, as many as 240,000 people could die in the US from Covid-19 – the disease caused by the new coronavirus – even with the mitigation measures in place. In Connecticut, a six-week-old baby has died from coronavirus, believed to be America’s youngest victim of the virus so far.
Queens, New York City’s second-most populous borough, has the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths. The area is home to a large population of low-income workers employed by the service sector who live in close proximity, and social-distancing guidelines are hard to enforce.
New York City needed 2.1 million surgical masks, 100,000 surgical gowns and 400 ventilators, among other items, by Sunday, said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has warned that April would be worse than March as the outbreak gathered pace. The NYC mayor said the goal was to triple the number of hospital beds, to 65,000.
Bill de Blasio tweeted: “This will be an epic process through the month of April. It’s herculean, but I believe it can be reached.”
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that the coronavirus
outbreak in the city will get worse, with damage accelerated by shortages of
key medical supplies.
He said on March 22: “We’re about
10 days away from seeing widespread shortages.
“If we don’t get more ventilators
people will die.”
New York state has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the
US and accounts for almost half of the US cases.
There are now 31,057 confirmed cases in the US, with 390 deaths.
On March New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said 15,168 people had tested
positive for the virus, an increase of more than 4,000 from the previous day.
“All Americans deserve the blunt
truth,” Mayor de Blasio told NBC News.
“It’s only getting worse, and in
fact April and May are going to be a lot worse.”
New York now accounts for roughly 5% of Covid-19 cases worldwide.
On March 20, President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration
for the state which gave it access to billions of dollars of federal aid.
However, Bill de Blasio has continued to criticize the Trump administration
for what he views as an inadequate response.
He said: “I cannot be blunt
enough: if the president doesn’t act, people will die who could have lived
“This is going to be the greatest
crisis, domestically, since the Great Depression,” Bill de Blasio
added, referring to the economic crisis of the 1930s.
Speaking at a news conference at the White House on March 22, President
Trump said he had also approved a major disaster declaration for Washington
state and would approve a similar measure for California.
He said: “This is a challenging
time for all Americans. We’re enduring a great national trial.”
The president also said a number of medical supplies were being sent to
locations nationwide, as well as emergency medical stations for New York,
Washington and California, the worst-hit states.
Doctors across New York have reported depleted medical supplies and a lack
of protective gear for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the outbreak.
Warnings of such shortages have reverberated across the US as other state
governors have pleaded with the federal government to make more supplies
In California, officials instructed hospitals to restrict coronavirus
testing. Meanwhile, a hospital in Washington state – once the center of the US
outbreak – said it could run out of ventilators by April.
On March 22, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said states were “competing
against each other” for virus supplies.
He said: “We need millions of
masks and hundreds of thousands of gowns and gloves.
“We’re getting just a fraction of
that. So, we’re out on the open market competing for these items that we so
An almost $1.4 trillion emergency stimulus bill intended to blunt the
punishing economic impact of the pandemic failed to pass the US Senate on March
The bill got 47 votes, falling short of the 60 needed in the 100-member
Democrats raised objections to the bill with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer saying it had “many, many problems”. Democrats accused Republicans of wanting to bail out big businesses.
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