New York City sees spike in coronavirus deaths ahead of statewide lockdown

The novel coronavirus is hitting New York City hard.

According to a report from the New York Post, the Big Apple saw a spike in COVID-19–related deaths on Friday. Fourteen patients passed away in New York City between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, bringing the total death toll from the coronavirus in the city to 43, the Post reported.

Big city, big numbers

Friday marked the first time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak that New York City experienced a single-day death count in the double digits. But according to New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, it could become a more frequent occurrence.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we get to a day when we have double-digits new people dying every day,” Dr. Barbot told residents at City Hall on Friday, according to the Post.

At least 15 more New York City residents died Saturday due to the coronavirus, according to the Post, raising the city’s total death count, again by double digits, up to 60.

Meanwhile, the Big Apple is seeing a similar trend in its number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

More than 500 more cases of the disease were discovered on Friday, bringing the city’s total number of confirmed cases up from 5,151 to 5,683, the Post reported. The city saw an even bigger surge on Saturday, with a total of 8,115 people having tested positive for the virus as of 6 p.m. that day, according to the New York Daily News.

The numbers have left some referring to New York as the country’s coronavirus “epicenter.”

Locking it down

The spikes came just ahead of an order from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for all “non-essential” businesses in the state to close.

“I want to be able to say to the people of New York — I did everything we could do,” Cuomo told reporters Friday, according to the New York Post. “And if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”

According to the Post, “the restrictions take effect Sunday night at 8 p.m. and will shut down all nonessential businesses across the state, leaving just grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential operations open. All non-solitary outside activities, like basketball and other team sports are also banned,” the Post noted.

Gov. Cuomo also announced on Saturday that the New York state government will be purchasing 6,000 ventilators and two million masks to help with the outbreak, the Daily Mail reported. “They won’t get us through the crisis, but they will make a significant contribution,” the governor said, according to the Daily Mail.

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