New York Governor sounds optimistic note as coronavirus numbers improve

Pedestrians walk on the street during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that a recent drop in hospitalizations and other improving metrics indicated the state may be past the peak of its coronavirus crisis and on a path toward stabilizing the healthcare system.

Cuomo’s cautiously upbeat report at a daily briefing came as the daily death toll across the state dropped to 540 on April 17, down from 630 a day earlier and the lowest in more than two weeks.

The governor said total hospitalizations of patients being treated for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, came to 16,967, a drop of more than 1,300 over the past three days. Intubations and admissions to intensive care units also have been on a downward trend.

“If you look at the past three days, you could argue that we are past the plateau and we’re starting to descend which would be very good news,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said that about 2,000 infected people were newly admitted to hospitals on Friday, which he characterized as “still an overwhelming number,” although the 540 deaths recorded over the past 24 hours was the lowest since April 1.

Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Conn., and Maria Caspani in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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