Mail Online reports: “A wave of volunteers landed in the city Wednesday after Governor Andrew Cuomo repeatedly begged medical professionals to fly in from other less-affected states across the US to help in hospitals in the epicenter of the crisis.”
One New York resident described the scenes like a “battlefield” as ambulance sirens screamed through the streets which now lie like ghost towns amid the lockdown.
“It’s like a battlefield behind your home,” said 33-year-old Emma Sorza, who could hear the sirens from severely swamped Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.
“After 9/11, I remember we actually wanted to hear the sound of ambulances on our quiet streets because that meant there were survivors, but we didn’t hear those sounds, and it was heartbreaking.
“Today, I hear an ambulance on my strangely quiet street and my heart breaks, too,’ said 61-year-old Meg Gifford, a former Wall Streeter who lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side,” she said.
Hospitals are already at capacity with coronavirus patients and a number of makeshift hospitals are being set up across the city to try to cope with the demand.
“The Javits Center field hospital now offers 2,900 beds and The Samaritans Purse Emergency Field Hospital in Central Park has 65,” the report said.
“Twenty hotels across the city are collectively volunteering the use of 10,000 beds, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
Dr Mitchell Katz, the head of New York City’s public hospital system, warned that hospital morgues are “not normally besieged by horrible deaths as has occurred with this particular illness”.
“Bodies are also being left abandoned in the makeshift morgues for ‘multiple, multiple days’, he said, as the high death toll, shock deaths among usually healthy individuals and the city’s lockdown measures have left funeral homes struggling to keep up.”
President Donald Trump also admitted that the federal stockpile is nearly out of personal protective equipment necessary to protect healthcare professionals working on the frontline.
“Difficult days are ahead for our nation,” he said.
“We’re going to have a couple of weeks, starting pretty much now, but especially a few days from now that are going to be horrific.”
The death toll in New York state skyrocketed by the end of Wednesday to 2,219, having doubled in less than 72 hours as the outbreak shows no signs of slowing.
More than half of the deaths (1,374) were within New York City, the report added.
“A map of the city’s cases has revealed that the city’s poorer neighborhoods are being hardest hit by the pandemic.
“According to a map released by the New York Department of Health, wealthier parts of the city are not registering the same number of cases as low income neighborhoods with cases in Manhattan significantly lower than the outer boroughs.
“The data was released as rich New Yorkers flee to holiday havens such as the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard, as the outbreak in the city worsens to 45,707 cases and 1,347 deaths.
“In many of the zipcodes, the number of positive cases is linked to the level of testing carried out in the neighborhood.
“In the above map, neighborhoods are color coded according to the number of positive cases in each zipcode, growing a darker shade of purple for the hotspots with the highest number of cases.
“The map breaks down each zip code into one of four categories: 6-112 cases, 112-182 cases, 182-306 cases, and 306-947 cases.
“It reveals a higher concentration of zipcodes with cases numbering between 306 and 947 further out in Queens and Brooklyn, including Elmhurst and Kew Gardens Hills in Queens, the South Bronx, and East New York in Brooklyn.
“Thirty-two of the city’s coronavirus patients have no known zip code, according to the data.
“The number of cases in the data appears in most instances to be linked to the higher number of tests completed.
“Corona was the only neighborhood so far to reach the highest number on the map of 947.
“Furthermore, zip codes have unequal populations, so we will need to normalize these numbers to get a per-capita rate that better reflects the situation on the ground,’ they added.
“While the map from the Department of Health does show the zipcodes with the most cases, it may not accurately reflect the neighborhoods that are worst affected as it does not compare case numbers to the population of the area.
“The zipcode map also doesn’t track income or profession meaning that some neighborhoods that are regarded as more exclusive are showing a high number of cases yet this may not be reflective of poorer communities in this area who are being harder hit or those who work in emergency response who are also placing themselves in the front line.
“For example, Staten Island’s zipcodes of Heartland Village and Annadale have a high number of cases but this may be due to the large number of first responders who live in the middle-class community.
“Overall, the true impact of the coronavirus on the city is impossible to gauge with just 96,528 of the city’s 8.6 million population having been tested.
“Of these, almost half have tested positive.
“New York City had 5.2 positive cases per thousand residents as of Wednesday.”