New Yorkers urged to be vigilant as daily Covid-19 death toll drops

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The daily coronavirus death toll in New York has dropped again, a sign the state is “on the other side of the plateau”, governor Andrew Cuomo has said.

He said 507 people died on Saturday, down 43 from the previous day, showing social distancing practices are working to stem the spread of the virus.

Other indicators are also heading in the right direction, the governor said, with the number of people entering hospitals with Covid-19 symptoms down by more than 750 to 16,213.

“We showed that we can control the beast and when you close down, you can actually slow that infection rate, but this is only half-time,” Mr Cuomo said on Sunday at a briefing.

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

Nearly 14,000 New Yorkers have died since the state’s first coronavirus case was reported March 1, according to state data.

This does not include more than 4,000 New York City deaths that were blamed on the virus on death certificates but were not confirmed by laboratory tests.

Virus Outbreak New York
A nearly empty Central Park during the coronavirus pandemic (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The city is encouraging people to send authorities photos when they spot the gatherings.

“We do not want to see this disease boomerang,” Mr de Blasio said.

“We do not want to see it come back with a vengeance.”

The mayor had harsh words for Queens-born US president Donald Trump, claiming both he and vice-president Mike Pence have ignored his overtures on the stimulus funds.

“Right now you are failing to protect the very people you grew up around,” Mr de Blasio said of Trump.

“When New York City is in need, where are you?”

Meanwhile, the number of New York Police Department officers calling in sick is declining.

They said 5,324 uniformed members – about 15% of the force – were off sick on Saturday – down from a high of 7,155 officers (about 20%) on April 9.

So far, more than 2,000 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus, police officials said.

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