Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: Region Is Now an Epicenter of Global Pandemic

New York City and its suburbs account for roughly 5 percent of global cases, forcing officials to take urgent steps to stem the outbreak.

The streets of Manhattan were eerily quiet on Sunday, as cases of the coronavirus in the city soared.

Three weeks after its first coronavirus infection was discovered, the New York City region reached an alarming milestone on Sunday: It now accounts for roughly 5 percent of the world’s confirmed cases, making it an epicenter of the global pandemic and increasing pressure on officials to take more drastic measures.

Moving to stem the crisis on multiple fronts, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York pleaded with federal officials to nationalize the manufacturing of medical supplies and ordered New York City to crack down on people congregating in public. He suggested some streets could be closed, allowing pedestrians more space.

The governor on Sunday announced measures intended to prepare for a wave of patients, including setting up temporary hospitals in three New York City suburbs and erecting a massive medical bivouac in the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side.

Already, hospitals across the New York region are reporting a surge of coronavirus patients and a looming shortage of critical supplies like ventilators and masks.

About one in eight patients in New York State has been hospitalized, and 114 people have died, officials said. Most have been over the age of 70, a cohort considered particularly susceptible to the disease’s respiratory attacks.
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