The One World Trade Center is illuminated in recognition of the ongoing nationwide effort in New York. Reuters
Emergency field hospitals were readied in New York's Central Park and at the home of the US Open tennis tournament as the number of American deaths from the coronavirus pandemic surged past 4,000 — higher than the toll in China.
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The pandemic has killed more than 1,700 New Yorkers and President Donald Trump, a native of the city, warned in Washington of "a very, very painful two weeks" to come for the entire country.
Already the hardest-hit area, America's financial capital is in a race to ramp up hospital capacity before cases peak.
Around a dozen tents, equipped with 68 beds and 10 ventilators, have been put up in Manhattan's iconic park, with COVID-19 patients expected to start arriving.
"You see movies like 'Contagion' and you think it's so far from the truth, it will never happen. So to see it actually happening here is very surreal," 57-year-old passerby Joanne Dunbar told AFP on Tuesday.
Declared coronavirus cases across the US surged to 189,510 early Wednesday, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University, with 4,076 deaths.
That is more than the 3,310 fatalities reported by China.
New York state has seen far more cases — 76,000 — and deaths than any other since announcing its first infection on March 1 and quickly emerging as the epicenter of the US outbreak.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday the city was tripling hospital capacity in a bid to get ready for the peak of the pandemic expected in two to three weeks.
"(We) will require a level of hospital capacity we've never seen... never even conceived of," he told NBC.
The mixed messaging was the latest from a president whose remarks from the White House podium have frequently raised eyebrows, including most recently a suggestion that disinfectant could be injected to treat patients with COVID-19.
The dire forecast from the United States came as much of the Western world emerged from weeks of lockdown, with hopes that the disease may have peaked in Europe, where deaths in the worst affected countries have dropped after nearly two months of confinement.
At least 256,422 people have died of the novel coronavirus since the epidemic surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally. The United States is the worst-hit country, with more than 70,000 deaths, ahead of Britain where fatalities topped 32,000.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The United States is the worst hit with 88,719 deaths and 1.49 million cases as of 15.17GMT (UAE time 19.17) on Monday.
Residents in areas under Russian control reported earlier this month that they had been handed a Russian passport, which is necessary for basic bureaucratic procedures.
Sheikh Hamdan said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, places the highest priority on ensuring the wellbeing of senior citizens.
The Dubai search and rescue teams freed the trapped child, according to Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Bishoh, head of the Land Rescue Department, in the General Department of Transport and Rescue in Dubai Police.
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