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The health crisis that is causing the spread of the coronavirus in New York is also testing the city's network of public hospitals , where the number of deaths has increased dramatically in the last two days. The mortuaries are at the limit of their capacity, which has forced the installation of refrigerated trucks in two of the hospital centers to store the bodies.
At least 13 people have died in the past 24 hours at New York's Elmhurst Hospital, located in the heart of Queens County, and whose intensive care unit is on the verge of capacity, according to a spokesman for the medical center, which He confirmed to local media that since Thursday night they are beginning to deposit part of the bodies in a refrigerated truck .
"The relatives of the deceased need time to organize and in this type of crisis not everyone can collect the mortal remains of their loved ones immediately," acknowledged Dr. Mitchell Katz, responsible for the network of public hospitals in the city. , who explained that most of the Elmhurst hospital has been converted to an intensive care unit for critically ill patients.
New York has already become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. According to the latest data provided this Friday by the state governor, Andrew Cuomo, 134 deaths have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in that state to 519 , and to date more than 44,000 infections .
The state represents the vast majority of confirmed cases in the entire United States, which has become the country with the most confirmed cases worldwide, surpassing China, and registers 97,028 cases and 1,475 deaths in total after adding 18,000 new infections and 345 died in the last 24 hours, according to the AFP agency.
New York State currently has 53,000 hospital beds, but experts estimate that up to 140,000 will be needed to care for coronavirus patients in the next three weeks. "We are asking hospitals to increase their capacity one hundred percent," Cuomo said at a news conference from the Jacob Javits Convention Center, which has been converted into a field hospital with a capacity of 1,000 beds.
Last week President Donald Trump announced the transfer of a U.S. Navy hospital ship to assist local authorities, as the number of hospitalizations for critically ill patients with Covid-19 continues to grow. This is the USNS Comfor t, with capacity for a thousand rooms, and is expected to arrive in New York Bay this Monday, according to the governor.
For his part, the city's mayor, Bill de Blasio, said on Friday in another press conference that in the coming weeks they estimate that half of the population will get the coronavirus in the Big Apple . He has also announced that billionaire Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, will donate hundreds of respirators and ventilators to the city's public hospitals.
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