WXXI AM News

New York to Receive 1,140 Donated Ventilators from China, Oregon

Apr 4, 2020

Credit Dan Clark/New York NOW

New York state will receive 1,140 more ventilators through donations from the Chinese government and the state of Oregon after an order for 17,000 of the machines fell through in recent days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The Chinese government will donate 1,000 of those ventilators, Cuomo said, while the state of Oregon has offered to send 140 of the machines through an unsolicited donation.

“This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said.

New York will still receive approximately 2,500 of the 17,000 it ordered from companies in China, Cuomo said, but that still won’t be enough to treat the projected number of COVID-19 patients at the apex of the disease.

At that point, New York has projected it will need approximately 30,000 ventilators, and 140,000 hospital beds in total. The state currently has more than half of what it needs in terms of ventilators and beds, but is still lagging behind its goal.

Cuomo said the state is still shopping for ventilators and acting to increase hospital capacity. He signed an executive order Friday that will shift excess, unused ventilators from hospitals outside New York City to the downstate area.

The state is also facing a shortage of medical staff, which it’s seeking to fill by asking retired and out-of-state medical workers to join New York’s workforce. So far, Cuomo said, 85,000 people have signed up.

Cuomo is also signing an executive order that will allow medical students slated to graduate to immediately start practicing medicine and help fill the shortage of health care workers.

As of Saturday morning, 15,905 were hospitalized with the disease, with 4,126 of those patients in the intensive care unit. Two-thirds of those who have been hospitalized with the disease have, at this point, been discharged, Cuomo said.

New York also saw its largest one-day increase in the number of deaths from the disease Saturday, with 630 more deaths compared to Friday’s numbers. The total death toll from COVID-19 in New York is 3,565.

The majority of the state’s deaths have been reported in New York City, though the percentage of cases in the five boroughs compared to the state overall has decreased in recent days.

A week ago, New York City accounted for 71% of the state’s cases. As of Friday, that was down to 65%, while the share of cases on Long Island has slowly started to tick up. Cuomo said the state has a close eye on the trend on Long Island.

Dan Clark is host and producer at New York NOW.