Tents that await the sick in Central Park, others set up in front of the hospital, the conference centre of Manhattan converted into a hospital soon to be followed by the sports center in Flushing Meadows: the New York metamorphoses to be able to treat tens of thousands of patients with the coronavirus.
A dozen tents set up in Central Park since Sunday, were preparing Tuesday to accommodate up to 70 patients of the virus from the Mount Sinai hospital, nearby.
“We see films as a +Contagion+, and we think that it will never happen, then see it for real, it’s really surreal,” says Joanne Dunbar, 57 years old, came to witness the transformation of this iconic place.
After eight days of work carried out by the Corps of engineers of the army of the United States, the conference center, the Javits Center, in Manhattan, is now operational, with nearly 3,000 beds for the sick not infected with the coronavirus, to enable hospitals to focus on the epidemic.
A few blocks away, the imposing white silhouette of the ship military hospital that Comfort, which arrived on Monday with a capacity of 1000 beds, stands in the middle of the skyscrapers.
Other sites have been identified through the first american city to serve as a hospital, which one of the buildings of the tennis complex at Flushing Meadows, in the district of Queens, as well as hotels to be able to isolate infected, but not seriously ill.
The economic capital of the United States and the State of New York in general, which was a Tuesday in the middle of the day nearly 76 000 new cases and 1550 deaths, has been engaged in a race against the clock to increase its capacity a hospital before the peak of the epidemic, expected by “seven to 21 days,” according to governor Andrew Cuomo, who said Tuesday that his brother, a presenter on CNN, was also infected.
He called on New Yorkers to ” calibrate their expectations to not be disappointed every day at the alarm clock, seeing the situation worsen.
“We have approximately 20 000 beds in all of New York” in normal times, explained the mayor, Bill de Blasio. “We hope that all will be transformed to critical care beds for patients of the Covid-19”.
“New Yorkers are in a difficult situation, and we try to do the best for open places in order to alleviate the increase in the number of cases “, pointed out on CNN, dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease specialist who advised Donald Trump on this crisis.
In this metropolis, which has never been as deserted and silent, filled now in the evening, as in many european cities, the applause greeting the nursing staff, the concern is more palpable.
The masks are ubiquitous, and the buildings have never been cleaned, ” says Joel Quesada, cleaning agent in a real estate complex in Manhattan, where he is spending 40 to 55 hours of work per week.
Larry Grossman, the director of a supermarket, said to have lost these last few days 14 of its 75 employees, ” either sick or afraid to come to work “, despite the walls protecting installed in each crate.
If New York is more than ever the epicentre of the epidemic, with more than half of americans, all the first power in the world now lives in concern with 175 000 cases recorded for 3415 dead, a number of deaths now more important than the official report in chinese.
More than three Americans in four, are now under orders of strict containment. Most major cities are affected, and the homes that have emerged in the last few days in Chicago or New Orleans, worsen.
Even rural States like Montana, which have very few confirmed cases, require masks and test kits to the federal government.
The minister deputy of Health, Brett Giroir, has yet confirmed on Tuesday that the United States was for the moment forced to limit testing to ” those who really need it “, to know the people who are seriously ill and most vulnerable.
The discourse of the authorities on the wearing of the mask, initially recommended only for persons in direct contact of sick, vulnerable persons, or persons presenting themselves for symptoms, is also changing.
The crisis unit of the White House is “actively discussing,” said dr. Fauci. “As soon as we have enough masks, we will consider seriously to expand its recommendations for use “.