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‘Please come and help us’, New York begs as floating hospital docks

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A US Navy hospital ship with 1000 beds arrived in port in New York to help relieve the crisis gripping the city.

According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus map, there are now over 750,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and more than 36,000 have died.

Close to 160,000 people have recovered.

Hard-hit Italy and Spain saw their death tolls climb by more than 800 each even as the World Health Organization's emergency chief said cases in the two countries are "potentially stabilising." At the same time, he warned this is no time to let up on tough containment measures.

READ MORE: Stay up-to-date with rolling 9News coverage of the coronavirus crisis

Meanwhile, a US Navy hospital ship with 1000 beds arrived in port in New York to help relieve the crisis gripping the city. The USNS Comfort – also sent to New York City after 9/11 – will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while packed hospitals deal with those with COVID-19.

New York begs for help as toll passes 1200

New York's governor put out an urgent plea for medical volunteers and a Navy hospital ship pulled into port Monday as coronavirus deaths in the city mounted and hospitals buckled in what authorities say could be a preview of what other communities across the US could soon face.

"Please come help us in New York now. We need relief," Governor Andrew Cuomo pleaded as the number of dead in New York State climbed past 1200, with most of those victims dying in New York City.

He added: "Whether it's Detroit, it's New Orleans, it will work its way across the country."

Also, nurses and other medical professionals who have volunteered to help have begun arriving.

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"Anyone who says this situation is a New York City-only situation is in a state of denial. You see this virus move across the state, you see this virus move across the nation. There is no American who is immune to this virus," Cuomo said.

As he announced the latest death toll, he said: "That's a lot of loss, that's a lot of pain, that's a lot of tears, that's a lot of grief that people all across this state are feeling."

Governor Andrew Cuomo

The US has reported over 140,000 infections and more than 2,500 deaths, with New York City the nation's worst hot spot, but New Orleans, Detroit and other cities are also seeing alarming clusters.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government's top infectious-disease expert, warned that smaller cities are about to see cases "take off" the way they have in New York City.

Bells of mourning toll in Spain

Bells tolled in Madrid's deserted central square and flags were lowered in a day of mourning as Spain raced to build field hospitals to treat an onslaught of coronavirus patients. The country's death toll topped 7300.

At least six of Spain's 17 regions were at their limit of intensive care unit beds, and three more were close to it, authorities said. Crews of workers were frantically building more field hospitals.

Nearly 15 per cent of all those infected in Spain, almost 13,000 people, are health care workers, hurting hospitals' efforts to help the tsunami of people gasping for breath.

Italy's death toll climbs

Italy's death climbed to nearly 11,600. But in another bit of positive news, newly released numbers showed a continued slowdown in the rate of new confirmed cases and a record number of people cured in that hard-hit country.

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"We are saving lives by staying at home, by maintaining social distance, by traveling less and by closing schools," said Dr Luca Richeldi, a lung specialist.

READ MORE: Australia's coronavirus social gathering and distancing restrictions extended

WHO's emergencies chief, Dr. Michael Ryan, said the caseloads in Italy and Spain might be levelling off.

"It is our fervent hope that that is the case," he said. "But we have to now push the virus down, and that will not happen by itself.".

Russia COVID-19 numbers climb as country goes into lockdown

Moscow locked down its 12 million people as Russia braced for sweeping nationwide restrictions.

A stern-looking President Vladimir Putin warned his envoys in Russia's far-flung regions that they will be personally responsible for the availability of beds, ventilators and other key equipment.

"We have managed to win time and slow down an explosive spread of the disease in the previous weeks, and we need to use that time reserve to the full," Putin said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: What do mild symptoms mean?

Russia so far has been relatively spared by the outbreak, with 1,836 confirmed cases and nine deaths, but the number of people testing positive has risen quickly in recent days and authorities are bracing for the worst.

Putin has declared that only people employed by essential sectors should work this week, leaving it to regional authorities to spell out the details.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, right, points as he speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, left, during their visit a call centre of the emergency response centre on control and monitoring of the coronavirus disease.

Israel's PM self-isolating

Israel said 70-year-old Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu' is quarantining himself after an aide tested positive for the virus. And in Britain, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne who tested positive for the virus, ended his period of isolation and is in good health, his office said.

READ:  Trump says pandemic 'will get worse before improving'

China's new cases below 40

China on Monday reported 31 new COVID-19 cases, among them just one domestic infection. At the peak of China's restrictions, some 700 million people were ordered to stay home, but those rules are being eased.

Japanese automaker Toyota halted production at its auto plants in Europe, but all of its factories in China resumed work on Monday.

New date for the 2020 Olympics

In Japan, officials announced a new date for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — the summer of 2021 — as a spike in reported infections fuelled suspicions that the government was understating the extent of the country's outbreak in recent weeks while it was still hoping to salvage the Summer Games.

Coronavirus: How to protect yourself and others

– Reported with Associated Press.

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Source: 9News

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