NEW YORK, Mar 31 (NNN-BNA) – New York governor urgently appealed for medical volunteers, amid a “staggering” number of COVID-19 deaths, as he and health officials warned that the crisis unfolding in New York City is just a preview of what other U.S. communities could soon face.
“Please come help us in New York now,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, as the state’s death toll climbed by more than 250 people in a day, to a total of over 1,200, most of them in the city. He said, an additional one million health care workers are needed to tackle the crisis.
“We’ve lost over 1,000 New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “To me, we’re beyond staggering already. We’ve reached staggering,” he said.
Even before the governor’s appeal, close to 80,000 former nurses, doctors and other professionals were stepping up to volunteer, and a Navy hospital ship, also sent to the city after 9/11, had arrived with 1,000 beds, to relieve pressure on overwhelmed hospitals.
“Whatever it is that they need, I’m willing to do,” said Jerry Kops, a musician and former nurse, whose tour with the show, Blue Man Group, was abruptly halted by the outbreak.
He returned to his Long Island home, where he volunteered to be a nurse again. While waiting to be reinstated, Kops has been helping at an assisted-living home near his house in Shirley, N.Y.
The spike in deaths in New York was another sign of the long fight ahead against the global pandemic, which was filling Spain’s intensive care beds and shutting millions of Americans inside, even as the crisis in China, where the outbreak began in Dec, kept easing.
More than 235 million people — about two of every three Americans — live in the 33 states where governors have declared statewide orders or recommendations to stay home.
Officials put out a similar call for medical volunteers, as virus hospitalisations doubled over the last four days, and the number of patients in intensive care tripled.– NNN-BNA