Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the rate of increase of coronavirus cases in New York has grown, and the rate of new infections is doubling every three days.
“That is a dramatic increase in the rate of infection,” Cuomo said. “We’re not slowing it, and it is accelerating it on its own.”
Cuomo says new projections suggest New York will now need up to 140,000 hospital beds, and has a current capacity of roughly 53,000 beds.
There will be a need for 40,000 ICU beds with ventilators, well more than the state’s current capacity of approximately 3,000-4,000.
The peak of the pandemic in New York is now 14-21 days away, Cuomo said.
“One of the forecasters said to me we were looking at a freight train coming across the country. We are now looking at a bullet train,” he said.
“We need, at a minimum, an additional 30,000 ventilators. You can not buy them. You can not find them,” he said. “We’re going so far as to try an experimental procedure where we split the ventilator. We use one ventilator for two patients.”
Cuomo again called on the federal government to provide additional ventilators by invoking the Defense Production Act and mandating companies produce them immediately.
“If we don’t have the ventilators in 14 days, it does us no good,” he said. “Not to exercise that power is inexplicable to me.”
Cuomo said the federal government needs to be sending aid to where need is greatest, and that New York has ten times the cases of any other state in the country.
More than 90,000 New Yorkers have been tested and more than 25,000 people have tested positive for the virus.
There are 3,224 people hospitalized with coronavirus, and 756 people in ICU units with ventilators so far.
“That’s 23 percent of the hospitalizations. That’s the problem. As the number of cases go up, the number of people in hospital beds goes up, the number of people who need an ICU bed and a ventilator goes up, and we can not address that increasing curve,” Cuomo said.