New York City has seen a surge in deaths from coronavirus this weekend, with one person dying every 9.5 minutes over the course of Friday and early Saturday.
As the New York Post noted, a total of 67 people died overnight, and 151 died between Friday morning and Saturday morning — a rate of one person roughly every 10 minutes. That rate has increased from the previous one-day period, when one person died roughly every 17 minutes.
There are now a total of 517 deaths in New York City and 29,158 confirmed cases of infection as of this writing, making the city the new epicenter of the outbreak in the United States and across the world. As CNN reported, more than one-third of all cases in the United States are now in New York City, and the rate of infection has continued to double roughly every two days despite the city’s stringent lockdown measures.
The rate of both infections and deaths could only continue to increase across the New York area, state leaders suggest. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said this week that it may take another 21 days for the state to hit its peak of infections and see the number start to drop.
The prediction comes as local medical systems were already struggling to keep up with the increasing number of sick residents.
“The state’s health care system is already overwhelmed,” the CNN report noted. “One hospital was forced to create a makeshift morgue, and another reported 13 patient deaths in 24 hours.”
“New York and its National Guard are assembling four 1,000-bed temporary, overflow hospitals in existing buildings,” according to CNN.
Cuomo has also called for a massive influx of ventilators to handle the expected surge in coronavirus patients.
City officials have also continued to issue guidance to residents in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. This week, the city issued new measures to prevent public gatherings, a full week after the state ordered all non-essential businesses to close. The city’s official website said that all religious services would be banned and that officials would be more strict in making sure that places of worship adhere to the measures.
“After an initial warning, NYPD will be enforcing the suspension of religious services this weekend and will impose fines and other penalties, including building closure, on those who are not adhering to the guidance,” the website states.
The city also recommended that all supermarkets implement dedicated time between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. for seniors to shop, keeping the high-risk population away from crowds.