The state’s confirmed caseload of Covid-19 jumped by 10,000 on Thursday to 159,937, placing it ahead of Spain (153,000 cases) and Italy (143,000). China, where the virus emerged last year, has reported 82,000 cases.
The US as a whole has recorded 462,000 cases and nearly 16,500 deaths. Globally there are 1.6 million cases and 95,000 deaths.
While New York state leads the world in coronavirus cases, its death toll (7,000) lags behind Spain (15,500) and Italy (18,000), though it is more than double the official figure from China (3,300).
Photos have emerged of workers in hazmat outfits burying coffins in a mass grave in New York City.
Drone footage showed workers using a ladder to descend into the huge pit where the caskets were stacked.
The images were taken at Hart Island, off the Bronx, which has been used for more than 150 years by city officials as a mass burial site for those with no next-of-kin, or families who cannot afford funerals.
Burial operations at the site have ramped up amid the pandemic from one day a week to five days a week, according to the Department of Corrections. Prisoners from Rikers Island usually do the job, but the rising workload has recently been taken over by contractors.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated earlier this week the city’s public cemetery might be used for burials during the pandemic. “Obviously the place we have used historically is Hart Island,”
he said.The number of coronavirus deaths in New York state increased to 799 on Wednesday, a record high for a third day.
But Governor Andrew Cuomo took heart from the fact that the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to New York hospitals dropped for a second day, to 200.
He said it was a sign social distancing was working. He called the outbreak a “silent explosion that ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil that we saw on 9/11”.
Another glimmer of hope was heralded on Thursday as official projections for the nationwide death toll were lowered.