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Grim Numbers Emerge From Italy

The latest coronavirus numbers show no respite for Italians
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2020 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Italy’s tally of coronavirus cases and deaths continues to soar, with officials on Saturday announcing new day-to-day highs: 793 dead and 6,557 cases, the AP reports. The country, at the heart of western Europe’s rampaging outbreak, now counts 53,578 known cases. Across the Atlantic, New York state officials considered establishing temporary hospitals on college campuses and in New York City's main convention center in preparation for a possible onslaught of coronavirus patients, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday. Cuomo said the government is seeking to increase hospital bed capacity by 50 percent—up to 25,000 more beds. Officials have also identified 2 million protective masks to send to hot spots.

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The state is reviewing four possible locations for temporary hospitals, which would be operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The governor also said 1 million N-95 masks are being sent to New York City on Saturday, with another 500,000 masks going to Long Island. He is also trying to find a supplier for more gowns, and clothing companies are converting to make masks. "Everything that can be done is being done," he said, adding, "We are literally scouring the globe looking for medical supplies." New York has seen about 10,400 coronavirus cases, and about 1,600 people hospitalized. In Italy, more than 60% of the latest deaths occurred in the northern region of Lombardy, whose hospitals have been reeling under a staggering case load.

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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