Coronavirus: New York could hit apex ‘in seven days’ as death toll passes 9/11

New York state has now estimated it could hit its apex in seven days, as the coronavirus death toll surpasses 9/11 numbers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state officials have consistently mentioned the dreaded peak of when New York state will be at the highest capacity of patients needing hospital beds to battle the novel virus. This peak also includes the highpoint of how many ventilators and other necessary equipment the state will need for those patients. 

Dates previously ranged from seven, to 14, to 21 days into the month of April for when this peak would hit. Mr Cuomo said on Saturday during his daily press briefing that the apex was anticipated in seven days. 

“We’re not yet at the apex, we’re getting closer,” the governor said. “Our reading of the projections is we’re somewhere in the seven-day range.”

“Part of me would like to be at the apex and just do it,” he added. “We’re not yet ready for the apex either. We’re not ready for the high point. The more time we have to improve the capacity of the system the better.”

Cases would still increase and people will still require hospitalisation after the apex, but this peak would mean New York would soon start its decline of numbers each day. 

New York has a total of 113,704 Covid-19 cases, and the state reported a record of the most positive cases in one day with 10,841 new infections on Friday. Of those cases, 3,565 have died from the novel virus, which makes the New York coronavirus death toll more than the lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. New York City has a death toll of 2,624. 

When looking at cases in each region of New York, New York City has made up a majority of cases. But another hotspot growing in concern was Long Island. 

“New York City is actually dropping as the percentage of cases in the state,” Mr Cuomo said. “For us, it is about tracking the spread of the virus and then deploying as the numbers suggest.” 

Hospitalisations increased with 15,905 people in the hospital and 4,126 in ICU, the governor added. But he offered one glimmer of hope by saying about two-thirds of people hospitalised are leaving following treatment. 

In order to respond to the growing spread of the virus, the state has rushed to increase its number of beds, supplies, and staff to make sure every patient would be properly treated. 

At the start of the pandemic, New York had 53,000 available beds. But this number has since grown to 80,000 available. 

New York’s Javits Convention Centre has helped increase the number of bed capacity in the state. The facility has been transformed by the federal government into a 2,500-bed centre to help treat Covid-19 patients. Mr Cuomo said the facility would be run and equipped by the federal government. 

“That will be a significant relief valve,” he added. 

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