Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set up four emergency hospitals inside Manhattan’s Javits Center to help combat the coronavirus, as the number of state cases rose to 15,168, with 9,045 in the five boroughs.
“This is literally a matter of life and death,” Cuomo said of federal aid efforts in general during an Albany press conference. “[If] we get these facilities up, we get the supplies, we will save lives.
“If we don’t, we will lose lives. … That is the simple fact of this matter,” he continued, adding. “From my point of view, construction can start tomorrow.”
The statewide death toll now stands at 374.
Cuomo formally green-lit the conversion of facilities statewide into hospitals as the number of cases spiked, threatening to push existing hospitals to the brink.
“We have 53,000 hospital beds available,” said Cuomo. “Right now, the curve suggests we could need 110,000 hospital beds. And that is an obvious problem.”
Cuomo called for FEMA to set up four, 250-bed field hospitals inside the Javits Center.
Along with adding beds, the FEMA hospitals have the perk of coming with their own federal staffs and a stash of critical supplies, Cuomo said.
Cuomo also mandated that New York’s hospitals to find a way to increase their capacities by at least 50 percent, with the ultimate goal of a 100-percent increase.
Meanwhile, the state has secured a stash of trial drugs that have shown promising results against the contagion, with trials set to start Tuesday.
That includes 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 doses of chloroquine.