NEW YORK: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state appears to be past the "plateau" on the coronavirus infection curve and is "starting to descend", as hospitalizations continue to decline and the daily death toll dropped under 550 for the first time in almost two weeks.
"Hospitalization numbers are down (and that is) good news," Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus press briefing on Saturday, noting that the number of people getting hospitalized from the virus continues to fall from around 18,000 to currently 16,000, the emergency rooms have fewer people in them and the ICU admissions and intubations continue to be down.
"If you look at the past three days, you could argue that we are past the plateau when we're starting to descend, which would be very good news.
Again, it's only three days but that's what the numbers would start to suggest," he said, while cautioning that even if the state is not at a plateau anymore, "we're still not in good position."
He said the state continues to witness the "tragic" news of daily deaths.
An additional 540 people died on April 17, which is "not as high as it was" but still suggests that the health crisis is far from over.
New York State had reported 606 deaths on April 15, which was the lowest figure then in 10 days.
Of the 540 deaths, 504 people had passed away at hospitals and 36 in nursing homes, which Cuomo said are the "single biggest fear in all of this" because of all the vulnerable people in one place.
New York City, the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak in the US, has 122,148 confirmed virus cases and more than 7,890 COVID-19 deaths and another 4,309 probable deaths, people who did not have a positive COVID-19 laboratory test, but their death certificate lists as the cause of death "COVID-19" or an equivalent.
US as a whole has recorded over 711,197 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 37,309 deaths and almost 60,000 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins tracker.