Outbreak swamps NYC emergency system

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 1,709,000
  • Global deaths: At least 103,536
  • US cases: More than 501,600
  • US deaths: At least 18,777

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

9:16 am: Every 15 seconds: Outbreak overwhelms NYC’s emergency system

A view of a group of nurses going to their shifts in NYU Langone hospital in Manhattan, New York City, USA, during coronavirus pandemic on April 10, 2020.

John Nacion | NurPhoto | Getty Images

The coronavirus crisis is taxing New York City’s 911 system like never before.

Operators pick up a new call every 15.5 seconds. Panicked voices tell of loved ones in declining health. There are multitudes of cardiac arrests and respiratory failures and others who call needing reassurance that a mere sneeze isn’t a sign they’ve been infected.

The system is so overwhelmed, the city has started sending text and tweet alerts urging people to only call 911 “for life-threatening emergencies.”

As the city staggered through its deadliest week of the pandemic, its emergency response system and army of operators, dispatchers and ambulance crews is being pushed to the brink.

The Fire Department said it has averaged more than 5,500 ambulance requests each day — about 40% higher than usual, eclipsing the total call volume on Sept. 11, 2001.

“When you hang up with one call, another one pops in,” said 911 operator Monique Brown. “There’s no time for a minute’s rest.”

“It’s back-to-back, nonstop,” said dispatcher Virginia Creary. —Associated Press

8:55 am: Boris Johnson making ‘very good progress’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is making “very good progress” in his recovery from Covid-19, his office said.

Johnson was moved out of intensive care after three nights on Thursday and Downing Street said on Friday he had managed to start walking, although his recovery was at an early stage.

“The Prime Minister continues to make very good progress,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said. —Reuters

8:39 am: Why states are bidding against each other and the federal government to get important medical supplies

As manufacturers struggle to keep up with the surging demand for masks, gloves and gowns for medical professionals, states are bidding against each other — and the federal government — for supplies.

The situation has slowed down states’ ability to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) during a time of intense need, while also driving up costs.

“Everybody trying to purchase the same things is not an efficient way to do this,” said Casey Tingle, deputy director of the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. During past emergencies like Hurricane Katrina, the state has worked closely with regional officials for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and relied on the agency to procure supplies. But in an unprecedented situation that impacts not just Louisiana, but the entire country, the roadmap is murkier.

“There’s a real lack of clarity of whether or not the federal government will be able to push from their level down at least to our state,” Tingle said. —Lauren Feiner

8:32 am: S&P 500 has rebounded 25% in less than three weeks with improving outlook on the outbreak

8:24 am: Coronavirus ravages storied New Orleans Mardi Gras group

In a city ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak, members of the Zulu krewe, one of the groups that sponsors Mardi Gras parades and balls, have paid a heavy price. Four of the fraternal organization’s members have died from coronavirus-related complications, said Zulu President Elroy A. James. Two others have also died since the pandemic began, though it’s not known if their deaths were caused by the virus, he said.

An additional 20 have tested positive. Some are self-quarantining at home, some were hospitalized and released, while others are still hospitalized, James said.

“Members are calling every day checking on each other: ‘How’s this member doing? How’s this family member doing?'” he said.

It’s also taken a financial toll. Many Zulu members work in the hospitality sector and are out of work, James said, a widespread problem in a city with an economy closely tied to the restaurants, bars and nightclubs now largely shuttered due to the statewide stay-at-home order.

“Zulu is really a microcosm of the city of New Orleans,” said state Sen. Troy Carter, a longtime Zulu member. “We’re made up of every social and economic background that you can imagine. Our members come from all different walks of life.” —Associated Press

8:15 am: India to extend nationwide lockdown

Devotees, wearing facemasks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, arrive to pray at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on March 13, 2020.

Narinder Nanu | AFP | Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to extend a nationwide lockdown to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, the Delhi state’s chief minister said, without saying how long the extension would be for.

Modi earlier in the day held a video conference call with several state ministers. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Modi had “taken (a) correct decision to extend (the) lockdown”, without sharing further details.

“If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is imp (important) to extend it,” Kejriwal said on Twitter.

India’s 21-day lockdown ends on Tuesday but several states had urged Modi to extend it further, even as concerns have risen that the shutdown has put millions of poor people out of work and forced an exodus of migrant workers from cities to villages. —Reuters

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: US cases pass 500,000, Spain’s death toll falls for third straight day

Source Article