New York State, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, continued to record the highest count of daily deaths from COVID-19 as a staggering number of 630 people died in a 24-hour period and Governor Andrew Cuomo said the outbreak in the state could peak in about seven days. The state had recorded the highest single increase in the number of deaths from novel coronavirus in a single day between April 2 and 3 when 562 people had died, one person dying from the viral infection almost every two-and-a-half minutes. In the 24 hours since April 4, the death toll grew to 630, “all-time increase” up to a total of 3,565, up from 2,935 on Friday morning, Cuomo said.
The daily death toll in New York continues to grow at record numbers as the state remains the most impacted in the US from coronavirus. Coronavirus cases in New York State now stand at 113,704, out of the country’s total number of 312,146. New Jersey, the second most impacted state in the US, has about 30,000 COVID-19 cases. New York City alone has 63,306 coronavirus patients, up from 57,169 the previous 24 hours, and 2,624 deaths. Cuomo said the apex in the state, the point where the number of infections on a daily basis hits the high point, is still about 4-8 days away. “We have been talking about hitting that apex, the high point of the curve. I call it the battle of the mountaintop. That’s going to be the number one point of engagement of the enemy,” he said. “But our reading of the projections is we’re somewhere in the seven-day range, four, five, six seven, eight day range. Nobody can give you a specific number, which makes it very frustrating to plan when they can’t give you a specific number or a specific date, but we’re in that range,” Cuomo said. “We are not yet at the apex. 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 for the apex either, still working on the capacity of the (healthcare) system,” the governor said. Cuomo has expressed anger over the short supply of essential medical equipment for healthcare professionals to help them deal with the surge in coronavirus cases across the state and the country. He said personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns and face shields are in short supply in New York as they are across the country and there is need for companies to make these materials. “It is unbelievable to me that in the New York State, in the United States of America, we can’t make these materials and that we are all shopping China to try to get these materials and we’re all competing against each other,” he had said earlier. Cuomo said on Saturday that the state has 85,000 volunteers, including 22,000 from outside the state, and he will also be signing an executive order to allow medical students who were slated to graduate to begin practising, supplementing the state’s healthcare professional capacity. On ventilators, he said the state had ordered 17,000 but there was not enough supply in the federal stockpile to meet this growing demand across the state. “China is remarkably the repository for all of these orders – ventilators, PPE, it all goes back to China, which long term we have to figure out why we wound up in this situation where we don’t have the manufacturing capacity in this country,” he said, adding, “New York has been shopping in China.” The Chinese government helped facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will arrive at the JFK Airport in the city, he said, as he thanked the Chinese government, Alibaba head Jack Ma, the Jack Ma Foundation, Alibaba co-founder co-founder Joe Tsai and China’s Consul General Huang Ping.
China has reported 30 new cases of the novel coronavirus, including five locally transmitted infections, even as nine of the 13 administrative districts of virus-hit Wuhan city were declared ‘low-risk areas’ signifying a gradual return to normalcy, officials said on Sunday. China’s National Health Commission (NHC) in its daily report said other than the 30 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the mainland on Saturday, 47 new asymptomatic cases were also reported. The NHC said 1,024 asymptomatic cases were still under medical observation, including 244 from abroad.
In the days after China made the disclosure about its coronavirus outbreak, nearly 430,000 people arrived in the US on direct flights from the country, including thousands who travelled directly from Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, a report in The New York Times said. Over 1,300 direct flights from China to 17 US cities brought back hundreds of thousands of people before President Donald Trump imposed travel restrictions. “Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness to international health officials on New Year’s eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries,” the report said. It added that testing at the airports and follow-ups with travellers coming from China was not stringent enough. During the first half of January, when Chinese officials were underplaying the severity of the outbreak, no travellers from China were screened for potential exposure to the virus. Health screening began in mid-January, but only for a number of travellers who had been in Wuhan and only at the airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, it said. “By that time, about 4,000 people had already entered the US directly from Wuhan,” the report quoted VariFlight, an aviation data company based in China.
Nagaland has received from the Centre its first instalment of Rs 20.50 crore under the State Disaster Response and Mitigation Fund (SDRMF) for the year 2020-21, a senior official here said. Talking to reporters, Johnny Raungmei, officer on special duty, Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA), said the state government would use 25 per cent of the total amount received from the Centre to bolster its efforts to fight the COVID-19 crisis. The disaster management authority in all 11 districts of Nagaland has been sanctioned Rs 5 lakh each for extending relief and support to the daily-wage earners and the poor at the state’s quarantine centres, amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown, he said on Friday.