New York state suffered another quick and brutal rise in the number of COVID-19 cases on March 24. Three weeks after its first coronavirus infection was discovered, the NYC region reached an alarming milestone and now accounts for roughly 5 per cent of the world’s confirmed cases, making it an epicentre of the pandemic and increasing pressure on officials to take more drastic measures. Hospitals in the state are overwhelmed. California has said it could be facing the next major wave of the disease.
In New York City, the densely-packed home of more than 8 million people, healthcare officials tried to find hospital beds for the surging number of Coronavirus patients as the statewide death toll rose to 210, with more than 25,600 confirmed cases. The White House advised anyone who has visited or left New York to isolate themselves.
Deborah Birx, who is helping lead the White House Coronavirus tax force, said in a press conference that it is essential for everyone to self-quarantine for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to others. No matter wherever the people may be residing, they have to strictly follow the rule of self-isolation
The governor on March 22 announced precautionary measures intended to prepare for a wave of patients. These include setting up temporary hospitals in three New York City suburbs and erecting a massive medical bivouac in the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side. Already, hospitals across the New York region are reporting a surge of Coronavirus patients and a looming shortage of critical supplies like ventilators and masks.
The expected need for hospital beds in New York state at the peak of the outbreak has spiralled to 140,000, nearly three times what are available. Infections were now doubling every three days in New York and the worst could still be two to three weeks away, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Nationwide, COVID-19, which broke out late last year in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 53,000 people and killed at least 720. President Donald Trump declared major disasters for New York and Washington state, the nation’s first hot spot and accounting for at least 117 deaths, and said he would soon do the same for California.
(With Inputs from Agencies)