New York state is now the coronavirus epicenter of the world with more infections than any other country outside of the United States.
The number of confirmed cases in New York state increased to 159,937 on Thursday after the number of infections went up by 10,000 in 24 hours.
In comparison, Spain has now recorded just over 152,000 cases and Italy’s infections increased to more than 142,000.
China, which is where the coronavirus first broke out late last year, currently has nearly 83,000 infections.
The United States has just over 436,000 cases and accounts for a third of the world’s total infections.
In terms of fatalities, Italy’s death toll is the highest across with the globe with more than 18,000 cases. The US follows with 15,600 and then Spain with 15,300.
New York state’s death toll as of Thursday was just over 7,000.
The state posted a record-breaking increase in coronavirus deaths for a third consecutive day even as a surge of patients in overwhelmed hospitals slowed.
Governor Andrew Cuomo described the death count – which increased by 799 in 24 hours – as a lagging indicator reflecting the loss of people sickened earlier in the outbreak.
The snapshot of hospitalizations showed a less dire picture.
Cuomo said the net 200-patient increase in hospitalizations “is the lowest number we’ve had since this nightmare started’, compared with daily increases of more than 1,000 last week.
Intensive care admissions also were down in the state as more than 18,200 people were hospitalized.
Over two-thirds of the state’s deaths are in New York City alone, where fears are growing that the real death toll has been significantly miscounted and that a dramatic spike in New Yorkers dying in their homes is also linked to coronovirus.
On a general day, first responders will answer calls to between 20 and 25 people who died in their home in New York City. By Tuesday, this has skyrocketed to 265 people.
City officials have now said that they will include these deaths, which have not been tested or treated for coronavirus, in the official death toll meaning the number of New York City’s deaths could skyrocket once again.
The city is recording a 5.3 percent fatality rate as of Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, the US was told to brace for what officials called the ‘peak death week’.
The country reached a record-high number of deaths on Tuesday with 2,000 fatalities.
The grim number of fatalities came as the estimated death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the US was lowered from 82,000 to 60,000 after new projections scaled back the number of fatalities over the next four months by 26 percent.
The updated projections has also brought forward the peak day of deaths to April 12 where an estimated 2,212 deaths are expected to occur over 24 hours.
The new estimates were released on Wednesday by forecasters at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation – a model often cited by the White House coronavirus task force.
The projected downward revision in the death toll coincides with comments from health officials and political leaders that cases may have reached a plateau in certain cities.
Its most recent update now projects there will be just over 60,000 deaths by August 4, which is down from the nearly 82,000 fatalities is had forecast on Tuesday.
US health officials have previously estimated that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die.
The model also moved up its projected peak in the number of deaths to this Sunday. The revision moves forward the projected peak by four days – suggesting the strain on the healthcare system will begin to abate a little sooner than previously expected.
Peak resource use for hospitals is predicted to occur on April 11 – the day before the peak death toll – where an estimated 94,000 beds, 19,000 ICU beds and 16,500 ventilators will be needed.
Despite the updated projections showing a lower number of deaths, health officials warned that a second wave of infections would occur if Americans relaxed their ‘social distancing’ practices.
‘What’s really important is that people don’t turn these early signs of hope into releasing from the 30 days to stop the spread – it’s really critical,’ said Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, referring to guidelines aimed at reducing the spread of the virus.
‘If people start going out again and socially interacting, we could see a really acute second wave.’
The updated projections has also brought forward the peak day of deaths to April 12 where an estimated 2,212 deaths are expected to occur over 24 hours, new data shows
Peak resource use for hospitals is predicted to occur on April 11 – the day before the peak death toll – where an estimated 94,000 beds, 19,000 ICU beds and 16,500 ventilators will be needed
The estimated death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States is now expected to reach 60,000 after new projections scaled back the number of fatalities by 26 percent