The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has soared past 100,000 cases, and the situation in New York City has become increasingly dire as cases continue to explode, with the healthcare system threatened with imminent collapse.
Across the city, sirens wailed late into the night Friday as ambulance crews raced through empty streets from one call to the next. Medical emergency calls were up 40 percent to about 6,500 a day, shattering historical records and leading to up to 170 callers being put on hold at a time, according to EMS union officials.
FDNY officials are strongly urging New Yorkers to call 911 only if they are having urgent emergencies, such as heart troubles or problems breathing. ‘Please allow first responders to assist those most in need. Only call 911 if you need help right away,’ the department said in a statement.
On both Thursday and Friday, another 85 people died of the virus here, or an average of one New Yorker every 17 minutes. The city’s death toll is now 450, and there are 26,697 confirmed cases.
Inside the city’s hospitals, stretched to their limits by the crisis, healthcare workers faced unspeakable scenes of suffering and death.
‘Hell. Biblical. I kid you not. People come in, they get intubated, they die, the cycle repeats,’ said Dr Steve Kassapidis of Mount Sinai Queens, in an interview with Sky News. ‘9/11 was nothing compared to this, we were open waiting for patients to come who never came. Now they just keep coming.’