The officials have confirmed that the Coronavirus has claimed the life of a homeless man in the city of New York. This has further escalated already drawn fears that the homeless are at great risk due to the virus and the number is only set to rise in the future.

According to the statement from DHS, the homeless victim was a single male in his 60s. He was hospitalized last week.

“Tragically, one New Yorker experiencing homelessness succumbed to this virus after several days in the hospital – our hearts go out to this individual’s friends and family. What we’re seeing continues to track the trends across our city, state, and country – with more testing taking place, we’re effectively identifying more positives, which gives us the ability to immediately connect each individual to the care they need, whether in the hospital or in isolation,” Isaac McGinn, spokesperson for the city’s Department of Social Services said. 

The identity of the deceased was not immediately revealed.

This death follows the death of another homeless person in California, giving rise to fears that the death toll among the homeless will rise rapidly if immediate action is not taken.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a total number of 78,604 residents were homeless in New York in 2019. Special housing units have been mobilized by the New York City’s social service agency in order to enable residents to isolate themselves. A total number of 500 isolation units have been made available across four locations, and 65 individuals have been isolated at two of these locations, ABC News reported.

As of March 24, a total number of 39 coronavirus positive cases have been confirmed amongst homeless New Yorkers. The New York Department of Homeless Services further confirmed 17 coronavirus cases from 12 different shelters across the city.

“Unfortunately, we are well aware of the sad fact that our homeless population is 30 percent more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus than those who are healthy because of their compromised respiratory systems,”  Ivan Klassen, director of community partnerships of the Los Angeles Mission told ABC News. “We are hoping that essential homeless service providers like us who are taking stringent measures will help stem the tide. Or we will, unfortunately, see more deaths like the one in NYC.”