China has donated as many as 1,000 ventilators to New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, as the authorities grappled with an insufficient supply of the life-saving equipment amid a surge in the number of coronavirus cases that have crossed 1,00,000 in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday said New York had ordered 17,000 ventilators from the federal government, which had a stockpile of about 10,000 ventilators for the nation.
He said demand for the life-saving medical equipment surges across the US, which now has more than 3,12,100 COVID-19 cases.
“China is remarkably the repository for all of these orders. Ventilators, PPE, it all goes back to China. Long term, we have to figure out why we wound up in this situation where we don't have the manufacturing capacity in this country.
"I understand supply chain issues, I understand the cost of manufacturing, but there's a public health reason, as we've all learned the hard way, why we need the capacity in this country to do this,” Cuomo said.
In order to meet this demand for ventilators, “New York has been shopping in China,” he said.
The Governor said he asked the White House to help the state navigate China and he spoke to the Chinese ambassador and “we got really good news today.
“The Chinese government is going to facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators” that came in to John F Kennedy Airport.
Cuomo thanked the Chinese government, Alibaba head Jack Ma, the Jack Ma Foundation, Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai and China's Consul General Huang Ping.
“That's going to be very helpful… this is a big deal. It's going to make a significant difference for us,” he said.
The state of Oregon is also sending 140 ventilators to New York, an assistance Cuomo called “just astonishing and unexpected.”
“It's also smart from the point of view of Oregon. Why? Because we're all in the same battle and the battle is stopping the spread of the virus, right? Look at what they did in China. It was in Wuhan province. The first order of business contained the virus in Wuhan. Why? Because you want to contain the enemy. That's always the first step,” he said.
Cuomo has signed an executive order allowing the state to redistribute ventilators and personal protective equipment from hospitals, private sector companies, and institutions that don't currently need them and redeploy the equipment to other hospitals with the highest need.
Those institutions will either get their ventilator back or they will be reimbursed and paid for their ventilator so they can buy a new ventilator.
The state had recorded the highest increase in the number of deaths from COVID19 in a single day between April 2 and 3 when 562 people died of the disease.
In the 24 hours since April 4, the death toll grew to 630, “all-time increase” up to a total of 3,565, an increase from 2,935 on Friday morning, Cuomo said.
The daily death toll in New York continues to grow at record numbers as the state remains the most impacted in the US from coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases in New York State now stand at 1,13,704, out of the country's total of 3,12,146.
New Jersey, the second most affected state in the US, has about 30,000 COVID-19 cases.
New York City alone has 63,306 coronavirus patients, up from 57,169 in the last 24 hours, and 2,624 deaths.
Cuomo said the apex in the state, the point where the number of infections on a daily basis hits the high point, is still about 4-8 days away.