New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Tuesday report that nearly 1,550 people in the state have died from COVID-19 brings America’s official death toll to about 3,400 and pushes America ahead of China in virus fatalities.
This chilling development comes less than 48 hours after Javits Convention Center set up an emergency 1,000-bed hospital, and the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived in New York Monday evening. Normally populated tourist destinations within the state remain empty as Cuomo’s statewide stay-at-home order continues restricting non-essential gatherings.
Barren, haunting city streets are becoming a global norm as the COVID-19 pandemic sinks its teeth ever farther into society. Italy’s lockdown is set to continue until Easter according to Health Minister Roberto Speranza, and Spain recently faced the near collapse of its own hospital system.
Medical experts alongside outbreak experts fear that, despite Europe’s world renowned hospital-centric systems, lack of epidemic experience and early complacency may leave Europe ill-equipped to handle the pandemic and even be partly to blame for the virus’s rapid spread across the continent.
“If you have cancer, you want to be in a European hospital,” said Brice de le Vingne, head of COVID-19 operations in Belgium for Doctors Without Borders. “But Europe hasn’t had a major outbreak in more than 100 years, and now they don’t know what to do.”
Elsewhere in the world, Russia implemented stay-at-home orders in most regions of the country on Monday, and life is gradually returning to normal in China as stores in Wuhan, the virus’s birthplace, begin to reopen.
For more information on COVID-19, visit https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.