NEW YORK: New York state’s death toll rose to 3,565 Saturday (Apr 4), the Governor Andrew Cuomo said, up from 2,935 the previous day, in the largest 24-hour jump recorded there.

The state has now recorded 113,704 positive cases – 63,306 in New York City – just 6,000 short of hard-hit Italy’s total.

New York City has mere days to prepare for the worst of the novel coronavirus onslaught, the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio earlier said. He pleaded for federal government help to end a shortage of medical staff and ventilators.

De Blasio is asking for 1,000 nurses, 150 doctors and 300 respiratory therapists as the number of COVID-19 cases in the city is expected to rise sharply next week.

New York City has yet to receive a resupply for the up to 3,000 ventilators needed by next week, de Blasio said, urging President Donald Trump to mobilise medical personnel from the US military.

New York City and state have both complained that federal resources have not reached them quickly enough, but Cuomo said Trump responded swiftly to a request he made on Thursday that a makeshift hospital at a Manhattan convention center be allowed to take in patients with the COVID-19 disease.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency had opposed the change from treating only non-COVID-19 patients, Cuomo said.

“I thank the president for doing it. He did it despite the fact that the federal agencies were not eager to do it, and he did it quickly,” Cuomo said. “It’s a big deal for us.”

New statistics on Friday confirmed that hundreds of thousands of Americans had lost their jobs because of the pandemic, although economists say the real figure is far more than that because huge swathes of the US economy began shutting down last month to avoid spreading the virus.

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