New York City added thousands of people to its coronavirus death toll to account for victims who died in recent weeks without seeking hospital care.
The additional deaths — more than 3,700 — pushed the city’s total to more than 10,000. Freddi Goldstein, press secretary to Mayor Bill de Blasio, said Tuesday that they include at-home deaths of people suspected of having Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That judgment is based on reported symptoms including cough, fever and shortness of breath.
The city’s Health Departmentpublished official statistics Tuesday afternoon reporting 6,589 deaths as of the Monday at 4 p.m.
“We are focused on ensuring that every New Yorker who died because of Covid-19 gets counted,” the city health commissioner, Oxiris Barbot, said in a written statement. “While these data reflect the tragic impact that the virus has had on our city, they will also help us to determine the scale and scope of the epidemic and guide us in our decisions.”
De Blasio has said previously that there was a surge in unexplained at-home deaths coinciding with the virus outbreak, and that he suspected many of them were caused by Covid-19.
“There’s no question in my mind and the doctors can speak to this, the driver of this huge uptick in deaths at home is Covid-19 and some people are dying directly of it and some people are dying indirectly of it, but it is the tragic X factor here,” he said on April 9.
He went on: “We should count them towards a total as quickly as we can get the full facts about them and include them in the demographic data.”
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