KEY POINTS

  • New York State accounts for 45% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
  • There were 23,112 confirmed cases and 365 deaths as of Thursday evening
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the worst is some two to three weeks away

New York State and New York City remain the worst hit state and the worst hit city in the United States by COVID-19.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state had 37,258 confirmed cases and 385 deaths statewide as of Wednesday. The number of fatalities is an increase of 100 from Tuesday. New York State accounted for 45% of all confirmed cases in the U.S. and 30% of all deaths as of Thursday.

“This is the really bad news,” said Cuomo in his daily press briefing at the state capital in Albany. “That’s the worst news you can have.”

In New York City, which Cuomo said is the epicenter within the epicenter, there were 23,112 confirmed cases and 365 deaths as of Thursday evening. The death toll stood at 281 in the morning.

Cuomo said the worst for his state is yet to come. He said the worst is some two to three weeks away. The state will build at least one 1,000-bed overflow hospital in each of the five boroughs, plus Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties, the New York Post noted.

New York will need at least 140,000 hospital beds at the disease’s peak, which is more than double the state’s 53,000 permanent beds.

“I don’t want to sugarcoat the situation,” said Cuomo. “But easy times don’t forge character, it’s the tough times that forge character. And that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

He revealed the number of patients hospitalized in the state had jumped 40% in a day, the steepest increase in days. He pointed out a key reason for the rising death toll is that older and weaker patients are staying on ventilators 20 days or longer before succumbing to respiratory failure, reports New York Times.

“The longer you are on a ventilator, the more probability of a bad outcome,” he said.

He said the numbers on any single day don't really illustrate the damage being caused by the virus.

“When you talk to the projection models, what they’ll say is you get a fluctuation,” he said, noting the data was being reported by hospitals. “They don’t know if it’s a deviation in what the hospitals happen to report that day.”

At least 24 states had more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday. The worst hit state remains New York. Behind New York is New Jersey with 2,492, Washington State with 627, Illinois with 673, Massachusetts 579 and Michigan 561.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned of "astronomical numbers" of coronavirus cases in the state and the nation's biggest city New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned of "astronomical numbers" of coronavirus cases in the state and the nation's biggest city Photo: AFP / Bryan R. Smith