New York City has become the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States with the Mayor confirming over 4000 cases as the number nationwide surges passed 13500. Weary markets are tentatively waiting for further direction from the Federal Government as Senate negotiations move into high gear on Capitol Hill where lawmakers hope to reach agreement on a 1 trillion dollar economic stabilization package to undergird the economy.

This, as the United Nations Secretary General warned that a global recession was a near certainty while urging wealthier nations to support the most vulnerable through this crisis, particularly health systems in Africa.

While residents have been urged to shelter in place, the State’s Governor has not formally imposed the rule. With dire warnings from the city’s Mayor Bill De Blasio that they’re not getting what they need from the Federal Government, as medical supplies dwindle.

“Here are the supplies that must be provided to New York City early in April for us to ensure that our health care system, public and private, can bear the brunt of the coronavirus crisis and serve our people. We need 3 million N95 masks. We need 50 million surgical masks. We need 15 000 ventilators. 25 million each of the following items of personal protective equipment, which our health care workers and first responders would use depending on the situation: surgical gowns, coveralls, gloves, face masks. We need these in great numbers.”

De Blasio  has called for the army to be deployed to increase healthcare capacity and beds in the city, while on the west coast in the country’s most populous state California, a statewide stay at home order is now in place as Governor Gavin Newsom explained.

“The virus will affect about 56 % of us. You do the math in the state of California and that’s a particularly large number. That number in and of itself shouldn’t be overly alarming. The vast majority, the overwhelming majority of us won’t have symptoms, we’ll be perfectly fine.”

That’s about 25 million people who could get infected in one state alone. As the Federal Government’s drug administration now moves to test new therapies in the absence of a vaccine that is still at least 12 months away. Listen to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn.

“In the short term, we’re looking at drugs that are already approved for other indications. So, they’re already approved, as the president said, for other diseases. As an example, many Americans have read studies and heard media reports about this drug, chloroquine, which is an anti-malarial drug. It’s already approved, as the president said, for the treatment of malaria, as well as an arthritis condition. That’s a drug that the president has directed us to take a closer look at as to whether an expanded use approach to that could be done to actually see if that benefits patients.”

More broadly, the UN Chief Antonio Guterres indicated a global recession “is a near certainty” and that current national responses to the coronavirus pandemic would not address the global scale and complexity of the crisis, particularly in vulnerable regions of the world.

“My very strong appeal to the G20 is to have a particular concern with African countries and other countries in the developing world. We must absolutely be strong in supporting them because the virus is coming to them and their health systems are extremely weak. So, they need very strong support from the developed world and if that support is denied, we will have catastrophic consequences. If the virus is not contained because countries don’t have the capacity to contain it, it can spread like wild fire as I mentioned and we could have, even with low rates of mortality, we could have millions of people dying and this is absolutely unacceptable.”

As the global caseload reached 250 000 with more than 10 000 dead. The United States likely to exceed 200 deaths on Friday.