New York governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that the COVID-19 deaths in the state hit a new one-day peak, with 731 people dead in the largest single-day increase in fatalities since the coronavirus crisis engulfed the state, the epicentre of the pandemic in the United States.
'The bad news is 5,489 New Yorkers have lost their lives to this virus. That is up from 4,758, the largest single day increase. That's 731 people who we lost. Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father…," Cuomo said.
The state has a total of 138,836 coronavirus cases and as of Tuesday 5,489 people have died, up by 731 from Monday morning.
Cuomo said the number of newly hospitalized patients is also up from Monday. In what he described as "good news", Cuomo said daily ICU admissions and daily intubations numbers are down.
“And right now we're projecting that we are reaching a plateau in the total number of hospitalizations and you can see the growth… is starting to flatten. Again this is a projection. It still depends on what we do and what we do will affect those numbers. This is not an act of God that we're looking at. It's an act of what society actually does,” he said in his daily media briefing.
The governor said he is coordinating with governors of New Jersey and Connecticut on plans to restart the economy and daily life.
“We're not there yet. But this is not a light switch that we can just flick one day, and everything goes back to normal. We're going to have to restart that economy, we're going to have to restart a lot of systems that we shut down abruptly. And we need to start to plan for that,” he said.
He said that he has spoken to New Jersey governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut governor Ned Lamont about “coming up with a regional metropolitan tri-state approach” to restart the economy and get everything up and running as quickly as possible.
Cuomo's grim announcement on the increase in COVID-19 deaths came after the state witnessed an “effectively flat” death toll for two days and saw drop in number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions, which the Governor has said could be “good signs” of a “possible flattening” of the coronavirus curve in the state.
On Monday, Cuomo had offered a slight glimmer of hope when he said the death toll in the state has been “effectively flat for two days.”
In the 24 hours since April 4, the death toll grew to “all-time increase” of 630. But on both Sunday and Monday, fewer than 600 deaths from the virus were reported in New York - 594 on Sunday, 599 on Monday.
In New York City, the number of cases had reached 68,766 and the death toll was 2,738.
Cuomo has said while the death toll is not good news, “the possible flattening of the curve is better than the increases that we have seen.”
His aide Jim Malatras had said based on the earliest projections, it was estimated that the pandemic peak in the state would come at the end of April and would require around 110,000 beds just for COVID19 patients.
Cuomo earlier announced the state is increasing the maximum fine for violations of the state's social distancing protocol from USD 500 to USD 1,000 to help address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols.