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Gov Cuomo declares that New York is past its coronavirus peak

Gov Cuomo declares that New York is past its coronavirus peak

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York appears to have passed its peak in coronavirus fatalities as the death toll across the state dropped for a second consecutive day.

Cuomo on Sunday announced that 507 people died from COVID-19 on Saturday, down 43 from the day before.

The total number of hospitalizations also continued its steady decline, falling from 16,967 to 16,213 from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday.

‘If the data holds, and if this trend holds, we are past the high point,’ Cuomo said at a press briefing at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, Long Island.

‘The recent news is good, that we are on the other side of the plateau and the numbers are coming down.

‘But that’s good news only compared to the terrible news that we were living with, which is that constant increase.’

New York has borne the brunt of the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 226,000 infections and at least 13,000 deaths to date.

Cuomo cautioned that while emerging daily figures are promising, the fight is far from over.

‘It’s no time to get cocky and it’s no time to get arrogant,’ he said.

‘We have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. This virus has been ahead of us every step of the way. We still have to make sure that we keep that beast under control.’

The governor credited strict social distancing policies for the decline in new deaths, cases and hospitalizations as he urged residents to stay vigilant in their efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

‘We showed that we can control the beast and when you close down, you can actually slow that infection rate, but this is only halftime,’ he said.

‘We still have to make sure that we keep that beast under control, we keep that infection rate down, we keep that hospitalization rate down as we all get very eager to get on with life and move on.’

Cuomo said officials are preparing to launch a state-wide antibody testing survey to help determine the true scale of the outbreak before they can begin lifting lockdowns, which will remain in place at least through May 15.

‘Any plan that is going to start to reopen the economy has to be based on data and that means it has to be based on testing,’ Cuomo said.

‘This is a new world for all of us, testing, how do you get testing up to scale, how do you get it up to scale quickly and how do you find out where we really are right now in terms of this virus.

‘You have all of the scientists and all the experts who are basically trying to extrapolate from the data – but we don’t really know how many people were infected, how many people had coronavirus but self-resolved.’

Cuomo said the Food and Drug Administration has approved the state’s antibody test – which is designed to detect whether a person has developed antibodies to fight COVID-19 and indicates that they may be immune against the virus.

He said the New York state Department of Health is now preparing to roll out the nation’s most aggressive antibody testing survey within the next week.

By sampling thousands of people across the state, experts will be able to form a clearer picture of the outbreak that includes individuals who didn’t previously get tested either because there were no kits available or because they didn’t show symptoms.

‘That will tell us for the first time what percent of the population actually has had the coronavirus and is now at least short-term immune to the virus,’ Cuomo explained.

‘This will be the first true snapshot of what we are really dealing with.’

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