Gov. Cuomo: China sending 1,000 ventilators to New York

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A ventilator is displayed during a news conference at the New York City Emergency Management Warehouse where 400 ventilators have arrived and will be distributed. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that China is facilitating the shipment of 1,000 ventilators to his state, as he continues to shop for more of the lifesaving devices ahead of a growing number of coronavirus patients who are expected to need them.

The number of people infected in the U.S. has exceeded a quarter-million, with the death toll climbing past 7,000; more than 3,500 of those deaths are in New York state. Cuomo said the ventilators from China were expected to arrive Saturday.

“This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said, adding that the state of Oregon volunteered to send 140 ventilators to New York. Cuomo has also is also looking for ventilators closer to home, and has issued an order that forces even private hospitals in the state to redistribute ventilators to the hospitals most in need.

1 of 12People and policemen bow their heads during a national moment of mourning for victims of coronavirus in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Saturday, April 4, 2020. With air raid sirens wailing and flags at half-staff, China on Saturday held a three-minute nationwide moment of reflection to honor those who have died in the coronavirus outbreak, especially “martyrs” who fell while fighting what has become a global pandemic. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that China is facilitating the shipment of 1,000 ventilators to his state, as he continues to shop for more of the lifesaving devices ahead of a growing number of coronavirus patients who are expected to need them.

The number of people infected in the U.S. has exceeded a quarter-million, with the death toll climbing past 7,000; more than 3,500 of those deaths are in New York state. Cuomo said the ventilators from China were expected to arrive Saturday.

“This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said, adding that the state of Oregon volunteered to send 140 ventilators to New York. Cuomo has also is also looking for ventilators closer to home, and has issued an order that forces even private hospitals in the state to redistribute ventilators to the hospitals most in need. ADVERTISEMENT

Governors across the U.S. have been desperately pleading for more supplies — particularly ventilators — and shopping global markets as they try to keep their states safe, as the Trump administration has limited access to a federal stockpile that’s dwindling fast. Cuomo had said that his state’s stockpile of ventilators would be exhausted in six days if the number of critically ill coronavirus patients kept growing at the current rate.

As of Saturday, more than 15,000 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in New York, and more than 4,100 were in intensive care. Cuomo said Saturday that New York at one point made purchase orders for 17,000 of the breathing machines, but only 2,500 came through.

“I want this all to be over,” Cuomo said. “It’s only gone on for 30 days since our first case. It feels like an entire lifetime.”

As the number of people infected has grown to more than 1.1 million worldwide, health care systems are straining under the surge of patients. In China, air raid sirens sounded across the country and flags flew at half staff in tribute Saturday to victims of the coronavirus pandemic, including the health care “martyrs” who have died fighting to save others.

With the highest number of infections in Europe and their hospitals overwhelmed, Spain and Italy struggled to protect medical staff on the front lines of the outbreak, while 17 medics in Egypt’s main cancer hospital tested positive for the virus.

Italy and Spain, with combined deaths of more than 25,000 and nearly a quarter-million infections, have reported a high percentage of infections among health care workers.

Carlo Palermo, head of Italy’s hospital doctors’ union, fought tears as he told reporters in Rome of the physical risks and psychological trauma the outbreak is causing, noting reports that two nurses had committed suicide.

“It’s a indescribable condition of stress. Unbearable,” he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced he would prevent the export of N95 protective masks and surgical gloves to ensure they are available in the U.S. — prompting neighboring Canada’s prime minister to respond that cross-border aid goes well beyond supplies.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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