NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The rapid rise in coronavirus cases has created a dire situation for many industries and organizations across the city.
The main issue right now continues to be a lack of medical supplies for personnel and ventilators, reports CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon.
“We’re really struggling,” said Dr. Steven Konstadt. “We’re really stretching and we’re doing the best we can.”
Konstadt is on the front lines and under siege at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo hopes the calvary comes in the form of ventilators. He’s issued an executive order to transfer ventilators to facilities that need them, enforced by the National Guard.
“I can’t do anything more than that, but I’m not going to be in a position where people are dying, and we have several hundred ventilators in our own state somewhere else,” said Cuomo.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city is approaching D-Day. Hospitals are desperate for increased staffing and he has made a plea to President Donald Trump.
“It’s time for urging the president to do something that no president has had to do in our modern history: To create an enlistment effort for medical personnel civilians all over the country,” said de Blasio.
The president says he’s working with New York, but said its been well-served with ventilators. He also issued a voluntary call for all to use face coverings, even if he wouldn’t.
“I don’t think I’m gonna be doing it,” he said on Friday.
The coronavirus has hit every neighborhood in the city, but some officials says its impact has not exactly equitable.
A map showing the hotspots by ZIP code reveals dark purple areas as places with the most cases.
Councilman Ritchie Torres represents some of the hardest-hit areas of the Bronx and is himself recovering from COVID-19.
“It is frustrating when I hear this does not discriminate because it erases the racially disparate impact,” said Torres. “It erases the fact that Queens and the Bronx are taking far more casualties than the rest of the city.”
The city decided that medical ship USNS Comfort can now take patients directly from ambulances instead of having to first go to hospitals to get a negative virus test, but by next week man more beds will be needed.
Every hospital is unbelievably busy and prepared to get busier because the numbers keep escalating.
On the impact the outbreak is having on other frontline workers, about 1,800 members of the NYPD have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 376 members of the FDNY are also positive.