Showing posts with label Deaths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deaths. Show all posts

April 9, 2020

NYC Hits 731 Dead in One Day in Hospitals. How Many At Home? Grandma Disappeared }}Found 3 Days Latter in Morgue

 Credit...Jonah Markowitz for The New York Times

Five weeks into the coronavirus outbreak, officials in New York and New Jersey hoped that the number of virus-related deaths had reached a peak and would flatten or drop on Tuesday for a third straight day.

It did not happen.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said yesterday that 731 people had died of the virus since Monday, the state’s highest one-day total yet by more than 100.

“Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a sister, is a brother,” Mr. Cuomo said at his daily briefing in Albany. “So a lot of pain again today for many New Yorkers.”

New Jersey also hit a new one-day high on Tuesday, with 232 people dying of the virus since the previous day,  Gov. Philip D. Murphy said. On Sunday and Monday, deaths in the state were in the double digits. 

Connecticut also reported its biggest one-day increase in deaths on Tuesday, with Gov. Ned Lamont saying 71 people had died since the day before. By comparison, Mr. Lamont had reported 17 new deaths on Monday.

The three states together reported 1,034 deaths in a day, the first time that the region’s one-day toll topped 1,000.

Virus deaths are going uncounted as more people die at home.

As of Tuesday, more than 4,000 had died from the coronavirus in New York City, according to data from the city and state.

But as awful as the official  figures are, they likely understate deaths by many hundreds if not thousands: People who die at home without ever having been tested for the virus are often left out of the accounting. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN Wednesday morning that there were “100 to 200 people per day” in the city who die at home and are presumed to be virus victims.

“There is no question the coronavirus is driving this,” Mr. de Blasio said. “We didn’t see this during normal times.”

The head of the City Council’s health committee, Councilman Mark Levine, wrote on Twitter that on a normal day in the city, fewer than 25 people die at home.

According to the news site Gothamist, the city medical examiner’s office has not been testing dead bodies for the virus and has instead referred what it considers “probable” virus deaths to the city’s health department.

But the health department counts only confirmed virus cases in its official death tally, suggesting that many virus deaths were being missed.

“It’s understandable in a crisis that being able to make the confirmation is harder to do, with all the resources stretched so thin,” Mr. de Blasio said on Tuesday. City officials, he said, were focusing their resources on “saving the next life.” 

How delays and missed chances hindered New York’s virus fight.

 Carpenters retrofit a refrigerator semi trailer to use as makeshift morgue outside of NYU Langone Medical Center.
Carpenters retrofit a refrigerator semi trailer to use as makeshift morgue outside of NYU Langone Medical Center.Credit...Jonah Markowitz for The New York Times

A 39-year-old woman took Flight 701 from Doha, Qatar, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in late February, the final leg of her trip home to New York City from Iran.

A week later, on March 1, she tested positive for the coronavirus, the first confirmed case in New York City of an outbreak that had already devastated China and parts of Europe. The next day, Governor Cuomo, appearing with Mayor de Blasio at a news conference, promised that health investigators would track down every person on the woman’s flight. But no one did.

A day later, a lawyer from New Rochelle, a New York City suburb, tested positive for the virus — an alarming sign because he had not traveled to any affected country, suggesting community spread was already taking place.

Although city investigators had traced the lawyer’s whereabouts and connections to the most crowded corridors of Manhattan, the state’s efforts focused on the suburb, not the city, and Mr. de Blasio urged the public not to worry. “We’ll tell you the second we think you should change your behavior,” the mayor said on March 5.

For many days after the first positive test, as the coronavirus silently spread through the region, Mr. Cuomo, Mr. de Blasio and their top aides projected an unswerving confidence that the outbreak would be readily contained.

There would be cases, they repeatedly said, but New York’s hospitals were some of the best in the world. Plans were in place. Responses had been rehearsed during “tabletop” exercises. After all, the city had been here before — Ebola, Zika, the H1N1 virus, even Sept. 11.

“Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers — I speak for the mayor also on this one — we think we have the best health care system on the planet right here in New York,” Mr. Cuomo said on March 2. “So, when you’re saying, what happened in other countries versus what happened here, we don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries.” 

But now, New York City and the surrounding suburbs have become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, with far more cases than many countries have.

More than 138,000 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, nearly all of them in the city and nearby suburbs. More than 5,000 people have died.

And, The New York Times found, initial efforts by New York officials to stem the outbreak were hampered by their own confused guidance, unheeded warnings, delayed decisions and political infighting.

UNHEEDED WARNINGS Officials in New York projected early confidence that the virus could be contained, but missed chances to stem its spread.
The M.T.A. staggers under the impact of the virus.

At least 33 transit workers have died from the coronavirus and over 6,000 have been infected or have self-quarantined.Credit...Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times
The coronavirus has ravaged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the agency that runs the subway, buses and commuter rails in New York City. At least 41 transit workers have died, more than 6,000 more have fallen sick or self-quarantined and the hobbled agency is struggling to run on time.

The agency’s workers said that officials at the M.T.A. were slow to respond, dismissed their early concerns about the virus and did not supply them protective gear or cleaning supplies. 

“Daily service can barely be maintained right now, and soon they’re not going to have the manpower to run these trains at all,” said Canella Gomez, a train operator who has worked for the agency for eight years. “The M.T.A. dropped the ball with this. They let us get sick on the job. Now it’s too late.”

Around 1,500 transit workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 5,604 others have self-quarantined because they are showing symptoms of the infection.

Transit officials say they acted as quickly as possible to protect workers and riders. The authority is disinfecting train cars and buses every three days and has urged riders to avoid crowding in subway cars.
‘THEY LET US GET SICK’  At least 41 transit workers have died and more than 6,000 more have fallen sick or self-quarantined.

FRANTIC SEARCH: Maria Correa was rushed to the hospital with coronavirus symptoms. Then no one could find her.

Their grandmother left by ambulance. They couldn’t find her for a week.
 Maria Correa in an undated photo.
Credit...via Julian Escobar
The emergency medical technicians who rushed into Maria Correa’s room found a pulse. They told the family in Queens that they were taking her to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, one of many health care facilities in New York City overwhelmed by the coronavirus outbreak.

But when her family called the hospital the next day to check on her condition, they were told she was not there. 

For a week, family members called the fire department, other hospital offices and the emergency medical service that had picked her up, near death, from her home in Woodhaven on the last Monday in March.

But Ms. Correa, 73, was nowhere to be found.

“I believe she passed away,” said Janeth Solis, a member of Ms. Correa’s family who led the increasingly frantic search to find her. “But where?”

On Monday, there was a breakthrough. An unidentified woman who had died on March 30 was in the hospital morgue, a hospital worker told her son by phone.

The paramedics, overwhelmed by a high volume of calls, had listed her son’s name, Julian Escobar, on the patient intake form instead of hers. Mr. Escobar identified his mother’s body by a photograph the next day at the hospital.

“I’m glad my mom can now rest in peace,” Mr. Escobar said in a statement released by his stepdaughter.

"New York City officials say a sudden upsurge in at-home deaths is likely due to COVID-19 and they are planning to add many of them to the official death toll even without confirmation by a laboratory". 

March 25, 2020

Spanish Army Finds Home Care Residents Dead and Abandoned

Employees of a mortuary enter the crematorium of La Almudena cemetery with a coffin of a person who died of coronavirus disease in Madrid, March 23, 2020Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMadrid's main funeral home says its workers lack the equipment to deal with Covid-19 victims
Spanish soldiers helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic have found elderly patients in retirement homes abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds, the defence ministry has said.
Spanish prosecutors said an investigation had been launched.
The military has been brought in to help disinfect care homes in Spain, one of Europe's worst hit countries.
Meanwhile, an ice rink in Madrid is to be used as a temporary mortuary for Covid-19 victims, officials said.
The virus is spreading very fast in Spain - the second worst-hit European country after Italy. 
On Tuesday, the health ministry announced that the number of deaths had risen by 514 in the past 24 hours - a daily record. 
A total of 2,696 people have now died and there are 39,637 confirmed cases.
Banner image reading 'more about coronavirus'
Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles told the private TV channel Telecinco that the government was "going to be strict and inflexible when dealing with the way older people are treated" in retirement homes.
"The army, during certain visits, found some older people completely abandoned, sometimes even dead in their beds," she said.
The defence ministry said that staff at some care homes had left after the coronavirus was detected.
Health officials have said that in normal circumstances the bodies of deceased residents are put in cold storage until they are collected by the funeral services. 
But when the cause of death is suspected to be linked to coronavirus they are left in their beds until they can be retrieved by properly equipped funeral staff. In the capital Madrid, which has seen the highest number of cases and deaths, that could take up to 24 hours, officials said.
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference that retirement homes were "an absolute priority for the government".
"We will exercise the most intensive monitoring of these centres," she added.
As the crisis in Madrid worsened, the city's municipal funeral home said it would stop the collection of Covid-19 victims from Tuesday because of a lack of protective equipment.
The city is to use a major ice rink, the Palacio de Hielo (Ice Palace), as a temporary mortuary where bodies will be stored until funeral homes can collect them, officials told Spanish media. 
Police and military wearing protective suits stand as a van leaves the Palacio de Hielo shopping mall where an ice rink was turned into a temporary morgue on March 23, 2020Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe first coffins arrived at the Palacio de Hielo in Madrid on Monday
The Palacio de Hielo complex, which also includes shops, restaurants, a bowling alley and cinemas, is not far from the Ifema congress centre where a field hospital has been set up for coronavirus patients.
Spain is the second worst affected country in Europe after Italy, which now has the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in the world.
Italian authorities said on Monday that 602 people with Covid-19 had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 6,077.
But the daily increase was the smallest since Thursday, raising hope that stringent restrictions imposed by the government were starting to have an effect.

March 4, 2019

30 Bodies a Day, With 1 Pathologist on Duty and No Help From The Federal Government, Puerto Rico Still in Crisis

Image result for puerto rico morgue
 One guess what is being kept for months on those containers....


Melita Kimbrough's father Benjamin Costoso Perez died in early July 2018. His body is still inside a refrigerator in the backlog-ridden morgue in Puerto Rico's capital.
For about seven months, Kimbrough, who lives in Nevada, has been trying to claim her late father's body to no avail. She said she traveled to Puerto Rico about a month after her father died in Bayamón, a municipality in the outskirts of San Juan, but that a prolonged process with the morgue to confirm his identity has prevented her from receiving the body.
As of Sunday — approximately 240 days after her father's death — Kimbrough has not received his body.
"This is unnecessary. This is completely unnecessary. No one should have to go through this," she told CBS News. "There's just absolutely no closure. I'm almost numb at this point." 
On her first trip to Puerto Rico after her father's death, Kimbrough said officials at the Forensic Institute, the island's equivalent of a medical examiner, told her she could not see her father's body because it had begun to decompose. Attempting to confirm his identity to the morgue, she visited doctors and dentists in search of her father's medical records, but was unsuccessful.
After a few days, she said morgue officials allowed her to confirm her father's identity through an affidavit crafted with an attorney. After some back and forth, Kimbrough said she was shown a picture of her father and identified him. It was then that she said morgue officials told her the body could undergo an autopsy, which said occurred in early September 2018. According to Kimbrough, morgue officials told her she could obtain her father's body two weeks after the autopsy was completed.
In late October, however, she said Forensic Institute officials requested DNA evidence, which her aunt provided. But months later, the morgue has not released the body. Kimbrough said she continues to make frequent calls to check on the status of her father's case and she's also exploring legal remedies with her lawyer.
"It's cruel," she said.

An official at the Forensics Institute, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press, confirmed Costoso Perez's body underwent an autopsy Sept. 6, 2018. The official told CBS News the process to confirm his identity and relation to Kimbrough and her family was delayed because the body came into the morgue with some decomposition. He added Costoso Perez lacked dental and fingerprint records, meaning they were unable to confirm his identity using those methods. 
The official said the results of the first DNA test yielded insufficient evidence to confirm his identity. He added a second DNA sample would be taken from the body this week and sent to an off-site lab, a process he said could last about two weeks. Asked how can it be possible that Costoso Perez's body — which he confirmed is stored in the morgue's sole refrigerator — has not been released to his family nearly eight months after his death, the official pointed to the insufficient manpower at the Forensic Institute.
Indeed, Kimbrough's ordeal is emblematic of the frustration experienced by many Puerto Rican families in recent years as a result of the mounting backlog of corpses in the island's sole morgue in San Juan, which serves the approximately 3.2 million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico. Because of the backlog, some families are forced to wait weeks before they take custody of the bodies of their loved ones.
Bodies piling up in its morgue is not a new problem for the island. The current backlog of bodies is part of a systemic problem that has been plaguing the U.S. territory for years due to mismanagement, underfunding and understaffing, an issue exacerbated by the deaths and chaos from hurricanes María and Irma.

30 bodies a day, with 1 pathologist on duty

The Forensic Institute official who requested anonymity said the morgue receives between 20 and 30 bodies each day. On a normal week day, he said there are three pathologists on duty who can process about nine bodies in total. But on some days, the official added, there's only one on-duty pathologist in all of Puerto Rico.
The official said the number of full-time Forensic Institute staff members who process bodies — five pathologists who handle criminal cases, two forensic doctors who handle natural deaths and 11 auxiliary staff members — is not enough to curtail the backlog and handle the bodies that come in daily.
"If more personnel are not sent, this is going to continue like this and it won't improve," the official said.

"You need money. We need resources"

Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is well aware of the problems plaguing the island's morgue.
He has repeatedly asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deploy a second Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team (DMORT), an outfit of federal forensic staff, to help reduce the backlog. Last week, however, FEMA denied the Puerto Rican government's request, citing the lack of an "immediate disaster-related threat."
A congressionally mandated fiscal board with control of spending in the U.S. territory recently announced it would allow Rosselló to use $1.5 million in funding to handle the morgue's backlog. But the governor told CBS News in a recent interview he is still working on a long-term solution to the issue. He said the reimbursement by the seven-member board will only allow him to hire temporary contractors, not full-time forensic staff, which said the island desperately needs.
"We need to at least double our capacity, and even maybe 120, 125 percent," he said. "And that's what we're committed to doing. As soon as we get the resources, we can the contracting out, right? But we need permanent jobs."
Rosselló stressed he's determined to fixing the problem on a permanent basis, saying he understands the suffering of family members who wait weeks to receive the bodies of their loved ones.
"I know that this is personal. This is hurtful, and it hurts me to see moms that are waiting for their kids' bodies," he said. "It hurts me to see family members in pain."

August 30, 2018

The Talk That Killer of Wife and Girls (Watts)Had a Double Live Might Be Confirmed by X Male Lover

 A man claiming to be the gay lover of accused US murderer Christopher Watts has told a US media outlet they had a 10-month affair.
Watts, of Colorado, has been charged with killing his pregnant wife, Shannan Watts, and their two young daughters – Bella, 3, and Celeste, 4.
Shanann's body was discovered in a shallow grave about 65km from the family's home in Frederick, a community in the oil and gas fields north of Denver. 
The girls' bodies were recovered from nearby oil tanks.
Watts told investigators that he killed his wife after discovering that she had strangled their daughters, after he told her he wanted to separate.
Watts told investigators that he killed his wife after discovering that she had strangled their two daughters, Bella, three, and Celeste, four, after he told her he wanted to separate.
Watts told investigators that he killed his wife after discovering that she had strangled their two daughters, Bella, three, and Celeste, four, after he told her he wanted to separate. (Facebook)
Now an anonymous man appeared on HLN’s ‘Crime and Justice’ TV show claiming he had met the accused on a dating app.
It comes amid intense media speculation in the US that Christopher Watts, 33, was having an extra-marital affair with a “co-worker” – presumed to be female. But yesterday, the anonymous man told host Ashleigh Banfield he had been approached by Watts in June 2017.
“He reached out to me and messaged me,” the man said.
“It was small talk. He told me his age. He had two daughters.”
Watts, 33, was arrested earlier this month over the slayings of his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and their two young daughters.
Watts, 33, was arrested earlier this month over the slayings of his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and their two young daughters. (AAP)
The purported gay lover said Watts’ profile listed him as straight.
“I asked why his profile said straight. He said he was not out and not ready to be out as far as sexuality.”
Court papers released last week revealed investigators had learned Watts was “actively involved in an affair with a co-worker”, something he had denied in police interviews.
Watts worked as an operator at Colorado oil and gas explorers  Andarko Petroleum.
He was fired on August 15, the day of his arrest.
Frank Rzucek the father of Shanann Watts, left, and her brother Frankie Rzucek attended court for Christopher Watts' arraignment hearing at the Weld County Courthouse.
Frank Rzucek the father of Shanann Watts, left, and her brother Frankie Rzucek attended court for Christopher Watts' arraignment hearing at the Weld County Courthouse. (AP/AAP)
The bodies of his wife and daughters were found on property owned by the company.
Court documents stated the girls had been submerged in crude oil for four days.
In the HLN interview, the unidentified man said Christopher Watts talked about his wife before her death and said he had met one of their daughters.
“Bella made a comment… She asked if she could sleep with him and mommy,” he told Banfield. 
“That’s how I found out he was married. I asked why he lied to me. He told me he knew he wouldn’t have a chance with me if he told me he was married. He told me what I wanted to hear.’
A man claiming to be Christopher Watts' gay lover claimed that he and his wife Shannan were having marital troubles.
A man claiming to be Christopher Watts' gay lover claimed that he and his wife Shannan were having marital troubles. (Facebook)
Watts was also critical of his wife, according to the unidentified man.
“He told me his wife was verbally and emotionally abusive,” he said. 
“He told me he didn’t love her. She didn’t love him. I knew something was wrong at home.”
When Banfield asked the man if he thought Christopher Watts had killed his family, he replied that the husband and father should be jailed for the crimes.
“‘I hope he gets convicted and I hope he stays in prison for the rest of his life.’
During a court appearance last week, Watts did not enter a plea to three first-degree murder charges, two counts of killing a child under 12, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
He is due back in court in November.

Thanks To Trump's FEMA and Silence from the Gov the Real Deaths in PR are 46 Times Higher Than reported

2975 deaths and counting..............


By Leyla SantiagoCatherine E. Shoichet and Jason Kravarik, CNN

Puerto Rico's government raised its official Hurricane Maria death toll to 2,975 on Tuesday in the wake of a new estimate from researchers. 
The new figure is 46 times larger than the previous toll the Puerto Rican government released in December 2017, when officials said 64 people had died as a result of the storm.
It comes on the same day researchers from George Washington University revealed findings from a study on storm-related deaths commissioned by the US commonwealth's government.
"This is unprecedented devastation," Gov. Ricardo Rossello told reporters.
    But the new death toll is only an approximation, not a concrete list of names, Rossello said.
    Moving forward, he said, officials will continue to investigate deaths from the storm and refine the official tally.
    "This number can change," he said. "It could be less, it could be more, as time passes." 


     It could take months or years, he said, to come up with a complete list of storm-related deaths.
    "We are using the best science available ... to be able to give a sense of closure to all of this," he said. "The truth is there is a lot of work to do."
    The official Hurricane Maria toll matters in part because families of those who died in the aftermath of the storm are eligible to have some funeral expenses covered by the US government. Experts say higher death tolls drive more disaster aid. And knowing precisely how and why people died can help authorities prevent future hurricane-related deaths.
    A key question: Will this new figure -- stemming from a study conducted at the request of Puerto Rican officials -- provide any closure to families who have long argued their loved ones died because of the storm, but hadn't received any official acknowledgment? 

    A new study

    Researchers from George Washington University released a study earlier Tuesday, calculating excess deaths that occurred in the US commonwealth between September 2017 and February 2018. 
    The study, commissioned after the September 2017 storm, followed a number of others like it.
    And recently, the Puerto Rican government had quietly admitted the official toll was higher than its December 2017 tally. In a report to Congress earlier this month, the US commonwealth said documents show that 1,427 more deaths occurred in the four months after the storm than "normal," compared with deaths that occurred the previous four years. 
    But Tuesday's estimate was an even higher number.
    Researchers behind George Washington University's study said they felt they were able to provide a more accurate estimate because they took into account additional factors such as migration.
    "I do think this study helps to validate that sense that many people had that there were just too many deaths," said Lynn Goldman, dean of the university's Milken Institute School of Public Health. 
    But she also stressed that Tuesday's report marks only the first phase of the study. 
    "In the next phase, we would like to dig down deeper into that number to understand among all the deaths that occurred, which of them were related to Hurricane Maria, which of them would not have occurred if it hadn't been for the storm? We're not able to say that now," Goldman said.
    She acknowledged that a complete list may never be possible.
    "At the end of the day," she said, "we may never be able to fully identify all those 2,975 people." 

    'We are not going to revive them'

    With many different estimates emerging, it's hard to know whom to believe, said Lourdes Rodriguez, whose father, Natalio, died in January
    "This is up and down numbers. No one knows how or from what (source) is the real number," Rodriguez said. "Due to the island being shut down there was no way of knowing anything for a week or week and a half after the event."
    Deaths in PR still attributed to Maria
    Deaths in PR still attributed to Maria 03:47
    Natalio Rodriguez's death hasn't been officially classified as related to the storm, but his family believes Maria was to blame. He died after the generator that was running his breathing machine ran out of gas.
    And no study, Lourdes Rodriguez said, can make up for what she and so many others lost.
    "We are not going to revive them, unfortunately. We just have to be prepared or get prepared for the next event," Rodriguez said. "September is one of the hottest months of the year, and you see people going to the beach and living in 'la la land' as if nothing is going to come."

    Governor: 'I made mistakes' 

    The George Washington University study also found that the risk of dying as a result of the storm was the highest for people living in Puerto Rico's poorest municipalities, and that older, male Puerto Ricans had a notably higher risk of death after Maria. 
    In addition, researchers looked at how storm-related deaths were certified, and analyzed communication about deaths after the disaster. 
    Among the study's conclusions: Officials did nothing to respond to public criticisms and concerns about political motivations that surged when the official tally of deaths jumped from 16 to 34 shortly after President Trump visited and praised how low the storm's death toll had been.
    Puerto Ricans react to Trump's visit
    Puerto Ricans react to Trump's visit 
    The governor admitted Tuesday that he'd made mistakes in handling the situation.
    "I agree I made mistakes. I agree on that. ... This could have been done differently. I recognize all that," he said. "However, I reject the notion that this was somehow connected to any political consideration. My only consideration is the well-being of the people of Puerto Rico. My only consideration was getting the best available information and the truth out there."
    Rossello said he'd signed an executive order for a commission to begin looking at researchers' recommendations for improving communication and the death certification process, and that a memorial would be built to honor the storm's victims.

    Multiple estimates

    CNN and other news organizations have been raising questions about the official Hurricane Maria death toll for months. In November, CNN reporters surveyed 112 funeral homes across the island, about half the total. Reporters found that funeral home directors identified 499 deaths they considered to be hurricane-related. In December, The New York Times estimated 1,052 "excess deaths" occurred after Maria. Others produced similar estimates.
    In May, a team that included researchers from Harvard University published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimating that 793 to 8,498 people died in Maria's wake, a range that some academics have criticized as overly broad. The study's midpoint estimate -- 4,645 deaths -- became a rallying cry for activists upset by what they see as a lack of accountability for the scale of the catastrophe by officials in Puerto Rico and the United States. 
    This year, CNN and the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, or CPI, in Puerto Rico sued the island's Demographic Registry to make public a database with information about everyone who died in the months after the storm.  
     These trucks serving for temporary morgue because there was either not enough electric for the morgue or too many bodies. They stayed out there for months.

    The network also created an online database the public can use to search for the names of all the people who died in the months after the storm -- and tell reporters about deaths that may have been related to Maria.

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