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Coronavirus: New York virus deaths surge past 3,500

New York state has recorded 630 more coronavirus deaths, another daily record that takes its toll to 3,565.

Most deaths have been in New York City. The state now has almost as many cases – over 113,000 – as the whole of Italy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said infections could peak in between four and 14 days.

“Part of me would like to be at the apex and just let’s do it. But there’s part of me that says it’s good that we’re not at the apex because we’re not yet ready,” he said.

Mr Cuomo said the state was continuing its search for more ventilators. He thanked China for sending 1,000 ventilators, which were due to arrive on Saturday. The state of Oregon would deliver 140 more, he said.

The US has more than 290,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 7,000 people have died with the virus.

Globally, more than 60,000 people have died and more than 1.1 million have been infected, Johns Hopkins University in the US says.

What’s the latest in New York?

The state has counted 113,074 confirmed cases, 63,036 of them in New York City.

Mr Cuomo said the number of cases and deaths were now rising at a slower rate in New York City, but there was a worrying increase in cases in nearby Long Island.

Meanwhile a new overflow hospital – the 2,500-bed Javits Center in Manhattan – would be staffed and equipped by the federal government, he said.

Some 85,000 people, about a quarter of them from other states, have signed up to help tackle the outbreak in New York, the worst in the US.

New York City’s mayor has sent messages to its eight million inhabitants urging qualified healthcare workers to volunteer.

“Anyone who’s not already in this fight, we need you,” said Bill de Blasio, appealing for help from “any health care professional: Doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, you name it”.

Mr de Blasio has estimated that the city needs 45,000 more medical staff to help tackle the pandemic in April and May.

Earlier he urged residents to wear masks – “that could be a scarf or something you make yourself, a bandana” – when they go out.

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What else is happening in the US?

  • The US Navy says nearly half the crew of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt – which has docked in Guam after virus cases were feared on board – have been tested and there have been 155 confirmed cases. No one has been transferred to hospital and 1,548 sailors have left the vessel and gone ashore. Earlier this week the ship’s commander was removed after he accused the navy of not doing enough to halt the outbreak.
  • President Donald Trump has said he will not wear a face mask despite new medical guidance advising Americans to do so. He could not see himself greeting “presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens” in the Oval Office while wearing one, he said.
  • Another virus hotspot, the southern state of Louisiana, said deaths had jumped by 20% to 370 on Friday, with 10,000 confirmed cases. Governor John Bel Edwards urged residents to respect his stay-at-home order, asking them to “do a better job”. The outbreak in New Orleans has a per capita death rate twice as high as New York’s. Doctors and public health officials have suggested that high rates of obesity and related conditions could be playing a role, Reuters reports.
  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not retaliate after President Trump blocked exports of personal protective equipment for medical staff. He had earlier said it would be a “mistake” for the US to block trade when the US receives the help of Canadian nurses.

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What about the rest of the world?

  • The UK saw a record number of deaths in a day – 708 – but the number of confirmed new coronavirus cases fell. The total number of people who have died in hospitals is now 4,313.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds said she had spent several days in bed with symptoms of the virus. She said she was “on the mend” after seven days of rest. Mr Johnson tested positive for the virus last week and has been conducting cabinet meetings via video link.
  • Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the country is “close to passing the peak of infections” as the number of coronavirus deaths fell for the second day in a row. Mr Sánchez also extended lockdown measures until 25 April, saying the restrictions were “saving lives”. The toll of 809 deaths in one day is the lowest in Spain for a week.
  • Italy has seen its first drop in the number of patients in intensive care during the outbreak. The number of new deaths – 681 – has taken the country’s death toll to 15,362 but is smaller than in previous days.
  • China observed a three-minute silence in remembrance of more than 3,000 people who died of coronavirus in the country. In Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, all traffic lights turned red temporarily.
  • Kuwait has recorded its first death, and a 79-year-old woman has become the first person to die of coronavirus in Georgia.


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