America soars past 100,000 coronavirus cases as NYC fights ‘catastrophe’: One New Yorker dies every 17 minutes and 911 calls hit historic highs amid fears hospitals could collapse in nine days as the Big Apple’s death toll hits 450

Saturday, March 28, 2020
By Paul Martin

The situation is New York City grew dire on Saturday morning as deaths hit 450 and cases topped 26,000
Hospitals warn a ‘catastrophe’ is looming as healthcare resources are stretched to the max
Doctors say the crush of critical patients and fatalities is like ‘Biblical hell’ and ‘a war zone’
On Thursday and Friday, a New Yorker died on average every 17 minutes due to coronavirus
City set a record for 911 EMS calls of 6,500 calls in 24 hours, more than ever recorded
Up to 170 emergency calls were put on hold and officials urged the public to limit calls to true emergencies
Sirens echoed across the city as ambulance crews raced from one call to the next
Mayor Bill de Blasio warns that the city’s healthcare system could collapse in just nine days
Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

28 March 2020

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has soared past 100,000 cases, and the situation in New York City has become increasingly dire as cases continue to explode, with the healthcare system threatened with imminent collapse.

Across the city, sirens wailed late into the night Friday as ambulance crews raced through empty streets from one call to the next. Medical emergency calls were up 40 percent to about 6,500 a day, shattering historical records and leading to up to 170 callers being put on hold at a time, according to EMS union officials.

FDNY officials are strongly urging New Yorkers to call 911 only if they are having urgent emergencies, such as heart troubles or problems breathing. ‘Please allow first responders to assist those most in need. Only call 911 if you need help right away,’ the department said in a statement.

On both Thursday and Friday, another 85 people died of the virus here, or an average of one New Yorker every 17 minutes. The city’s death toll is now 450, and there are 26,697 confirmed cases.

Inside the city’s hospitals, stretched to their limits by the crisis, healthcare workers faced unspeakable scenes of suffering and death.

‘Hell. Biblical. I kid you not. People come in, they get intubated, they die, the cycle repeats,’ said Dr Steve Kassapidis of Mount Sinai Queens, in an interview with Sky News. ‘9/11 was nothing compared to this, we were open waiting for patients to come who never came. Now they just keep coming.’

‘The hospitals look like a war zone,’ Dr Emad Youssef of Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn told CBS News. ‘People lining up out of the hallway, through the EMS bay, through the ambulance bay, with masks on themselves, with oxygen on their nose.’

Doctors and nurses across the city report increasing shortages of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gowns — though city and hospital officials are denying the problem.

In contrast to the desperate conditions in hospitals, the streets were eerily empty. Landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square were deserted on Friday, a warm spring day that would normally see them teeming.

At a press conference on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he believes the city’s strained healthcare system has the personnel and supplies to make it through next week, but beyond that is uncertain.

‘After next Sunday, April 5, is when I get very, very worried about everything we’re gonna need,’ he said, saying that an infusion of medical staff and equipment was needed to stave off disaster.

‘I’ve put down that marker to the White House, that that is a decisive moment for the city of New York,’ he said, saying the city urgently needs additional federal and military support, as well as at least 15,000 ventilators.

‘We need to make sure we can get to that day and face the week after that, and the week after that as well,’ de Blasio said. ‘Right now we’re not there.’

‘I think people need to be ready for battle, and the hard truth helps them gird themselves for what’s ahead,’ he continued.

The Rest…HERE

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