Spike in US deaths, hospitalisations as coronavirus’ reach deepens

New York: New York once again saw a spike in the number of deaths and hospitalisations related to the coronavirus, a bleak trend for the epicentre of the US's outbreak of the fast-spreading virus. There are now more than 37,000 confirmed cases in the state.

A member of the Brooklyn Hospital Center COVID-19 testing team calls in the next patient in line.Credit:AP

The increase in cases, deaths and hospitalisations comes as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo detailed how the outbreak will have dramatic economic effects on the state.

Coronavirus deaths and hospitalisations in New York were both up dramatically, a stark sign of the outbreak's quickly increasing reach.

The US has more than 81,930 cases including least 1177 deaths, making it the country with more infections than any other, including China, where the pandemic began.

The highest number of deaths in the US was recorded on Wednesday when 223 people died.

About half of all US cases were in New York, which had almost 10 times more than any other state.

New York state's death toll from the coronavirus jumped by 100 in one day, pushing the number to 385, Cuomo said on Thursday. He added that experts expect the number to increase as critically ill patients who have been on ventilators for several days succumb to the virus.

"That is a situation where people just deteriorate over time," Cuomo said. "And that is what we're seeing."

More than 5300 COVID-19 patients were hospitalised statewide as of Thursday, a 40 per cent increase from the day before. Nearly 1300 patients were in intensive care, a 45 per cent increase.

Workers from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner stand next to a tent outside Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Credit:Bloomberg

Hospitals in hard-hit New York City are trying to deal with the growing crush of patients and the need for medical equipment like face masks and ventilators.

The recent death toll includes a health care worker at one of the New York City hospitals under siege by the coronavirus has died, according to coworkers and his sister. Kious Kelly, an assistant nurse manager at the Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan, died Tuesday from the virus after he got sick two weeks ago, multiple friends said in social media posts.

Kelly's sister, Marya Sherron, told the New York Post that her brother had informed her of his illness about 10 days earlier.

"He told me he had the coronavirus," she said. "He was in ICU but he thought he was OK. He didn't think it was serious as it was."

Sherron said Kelly had severe asthma but was otherwise healthy.

Cuomo warned the economic toll of the coronavirus outbreak will be dramatic in New York and castigated federal officials for what he called a failure to address lost revenue in their $US2.2 trillion relief package.

"The Congressional action, in my opinion, simply failed to address the governmental need," he said Thursday at a state Capitol news conference. "I find it irresponsible. I find it reckless."

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