NYC Covid-19 infection rate tops 5%: Mayor

New York City’s Covid-19 infection rate on a seven-day average surpassed 5 per cent for the first time in months, reaching a new high of 5.19 per cent, compared with 4.8 per cent one day earlier, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.

The rate has been above 3 per cent since November 18, and topped 4 per cent for the first time on Monday. Three per cent is deemed by the municipal government as a threshold for a second wave of the pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

“We need every New Yorker to do their part to fight back #COVID — wear a mask, avoid large gatherings and get tested. For a FREE test,” added the mayor in his tweet.

Also on Thursday, the city government announced the creation of the Pandemic Response Institute (PRI), a facility dedicated to preparing New York City and other jurisdictions for future health emergencies and epidemics.

“PRI will strengthen New York City’s health infrastructure, build on the success of the Pandemic Response Lab and recent experiences in epidemic response, and position the City as a global leader in research, innovation, and pandemic response,” said an official release.

PRI will advance research, training, and innovation on outbreak detection, investigation, and management, it said.

“Specifically, it will focus on the following areas: Building new technologies and systems that detect, track and monitor health issues, particularly those that signal vulnerabilities to disease outbreaks. Advancing research on cutting-edge diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as the latest science on outbreak modeling. Training public health, business, and community leaders in all aspects of pandemic prevention and management, and the roles that they each can play in future health emergencies. Piloting new community-based partnership models that build local-level health infrastructure, improve emergency preparedness, and advance health outcomes across all communities,” it added.

As of Wednesday afternoon, coronavirus deaths added up to 24,297 and confirmed cases to 317,746 in NYC, according to The City, a project that tracks the spread of confirmed Covid-19 infections and fatalities in New York City, based on information provided by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the governor’s office, The Covid Tracking Project and the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

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