Photos: New York City region turns new ‘epicenter’ of COVID-19 cases

The New York City region has emerged as the new “epicenter” of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak accounting for nearly 5% of cases worldwide and as President Donald Trump has sought to ramp up assistance to the three states hit the hardest, New York, California and Washington with medical supplies such as masks and respirators and mobile hospitals. Anxiety ratcheted up Monday across an eerily deserted New York, but President Donald Trump said he'd soon call for lifting the lockdown in some parts of the country.

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST 13 Photos
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A police officer walks across an empty 7th Avenue in a sparsely populated Times Square due to COVID-19 concerns, in New York City. State Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banned gatherings statewide. Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are cancelled or postponed. (John Minchillo / AP)

A police officer walks across an empty 7th Avenue in a sparsely populated Times Square due to COVID-19 concerns, in New York City. State Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banned gatherings statewide. Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are cancelled or postponed. (John Minchillo / AP)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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People enjoy the day at Central Park as the coronavirus disease outbreak continues in New York, on March 21, 2020. As the number of deaths in the United States from COVID-19 soared to 560, with almost 44,000 declared cases on Monday, the Big Apple found itself the US bullseye of the global pandemic. (Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS)

People enjoy the day at Central Park as the coronavirus disease outbreak continues in New York, on March 21, 2020. As the number of deaths in the United States from COVID-19 soared to 560, with almost 44,000 declared cases on Monday, the Big Apple found itself the US bullseye of the global pandemic. (Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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A cyclist rides his down the middle of a main road in downtown New York, on Sunday, March 22, 2020. New York City accounts for roughly 5% of the around 380,000 cases worldwide, with more than half the 20,000 cases reported in New York state. The increase in numbers is reflection of the increase in tests being conducted, state officials have said and not necessarily of the spread of the virus. (Wong Maye-E / AP)

A cyclist rides his down the middle of a main road in downtown New York, on Sunday, March 22, 2020. New York City accounts for roughly 5% of the around 380,000 cases worldwide, with more than half the 20,000 cases reported in New York state. The increase in numbers is reflection of the increase in tests being conducted, state officials have said and not necessarily of the spread of the virus. (Wong Maye-E / AP)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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Members of Joint Task Force 2, composed of soldiers and airmen from the New York Army and Air National Guard, work to sanitize the New Rochelle High School in New York on March 21, 2020. US President Donald Trump, amid complaints of hospitals running low on masks, gloves and other critical gear, has signed an executive order making it a crime to stockpile supplies needed by medical workers. (Andrew Kelly / REUTERS)

Members of Joint Task Force 2, composed of soldiers and airmen from the New York Army and Air National Guard, work to sanitize the New Rochelle High School in New York on March 21, 2020. US President Donald Trump, amid complaints of hospitals running low on masks, gloves and other critical gear, has signed an executive order making it a crime to stockpile supplies needed by medical workers. (Andrew Kelly / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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People out at Central Park in New York, on March 21, 2020. Trump said he believes the American economy, which has been virtually shut down, could be reopened in weeks, not months. He told reporters Monday, he would be “opening up our country to business because our country was meant to be open.” (Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS)

People out at Central Park in New York, on March 21, 2020. Trump said he believes the American economy, which has been virtually shut down, could be reopened in weeks, not months. He told reporters Monday, he would be “opening up our country to business because our country was meant to be open.” (Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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People enjoy the day as they walk around Times Square on March 21, 2020. The relaxation could be announced early next week when a 15-day period recommending tight restrictions on social distancing expires, he said, stressing that governors would make final decisions in their own states. (Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS)

People enjoy the day as they walk around Times Square on March 21, 2020. The relaxation could be announced early next week when a 15-day period recommending tight restrictions on social distancing expires, he said, stressing that governors would make final decisions in their own states. (Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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Grand Central Terminal stands mostly empty as much of the city is void of cars and pedestrians over fears of spreading the coronavirus on March 22, 2020 in New York City. With only essential workers, such as pharmacists, grocery store workers, nurses and doctors, headed to work Monday, rush hour in the city was more like a trickle of traffic. (Spencer Platt / AFP)

Grand Central Terminal stands mostly empty as much of the city is void of cars and pedestrians over fears of spreading the coronavirus on March 22, 2020 in New York City. With only essential workers, such as pharmacists, grocery store workers, nurses and doctors, headed to work Monday, rush hour in the city was more like a trickle of traffic. (Spencer Platt / AFP)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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People at Central Park maintaining social distancing in New York, on March 22, 2020. The New York metropolitan area, has a higher infection rate than in the rest of the country and a greater share of tests that come out positive, said Deborah Birx, a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force. (Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS)

People at Central Park maintaining social distancing in New York, on March 22, 2020. The New York metropolitan area, has a higher infection rate than in the rest of the country and a greater share of tests that come out positive, said Deborah Birx, a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force. (Eduardo Munoz / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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A woman walks through a lightly trafficked Times Square in New York. The attack rate in the region is close to one in 1,000, five times what other areas are seeing, Birx said at a Trump press briefing. About 28% of the submitted tests are positive, compared with less than 8% in the rest of the country, she said. (Seth Wenig / AP)

A woman walks through a lightly trafficked Times Square in New York. The attack rate in the region is close to one in 1,000, five times what other areas are seeing, Birx said at a Trump press briefing. About 28% of the submitted tests are positive, compared with less than 8% in the rest of the country, she said. (Seth Wenig / AP)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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People tee off at the driving range at Eisenhower Park on March 21, 2020 in East Meadow, New York. It has been encouraged that people keep a social distance of six feet or more to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. “Clearly the virus had been circulating there for a number of weeks to have this level of penetrance into the general community,” Birx said. (Al Bello / Getty Images / AFP)

People tee off at the driving range at Eisenhower Park on March 21, 2020 in East Meadow, New York. It has been encouraged that people keep a social distance of six feet or more to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. “Clearly the virus had been circulating there for a number of weeks to have this level of penetrance into the general community,” Birx said. (Al Bello / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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Forty Second Street stands mostly empty as much of the city is void of cars and pedestrians over fears of spreading the coronavirus on March 22, 2020 in New York City. New York’s yellow cabs were out but passengers appeared few and far between with sidewalks virtually deserted. Underground, normally packed subway cars trundled along close to empty. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP)

Forty Second Street stands mostly empty as much of the city is void of cars and pedestrians over fears of spreading the coronavirus on March 22, 2020 in New York City. New York’s yellow cabs were out but passengers appeared few and far between with sidewalks virtually deserted. Underground, normally packed subway cars trundled along close to empty. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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Artists perform under a billboard displaying thanks to healthcare workers due to COVID-19 concerns in a sparsely populated Times Square, in New York. In the US Congress, efforts to advance a nearly two-trillion-dollar rescue of the economy failed for a second straight day after Democrats said the Republican proposal insufficiently protected workers. (AP)

Artists perform under a billboard displaying thanks to healthcare workers due to COVID-19 concerns in a sparsely populated Times Square, in New York. In the US Congress, efforts to advance a nearly two-trillion-dollar rescue of the economy failed for a second straight day after Democrats said the Republican proposal insufficiently protected workers. (AP)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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A couple wears face masks and surgical gloves as they walk in Central Park. “I’m scared for me and patients that this could go on” for months, Lauren, a psychologist who declined to give her surname told AFP. Anxiety and depression “all gets heightened at a time like this,” she added, one of the few souls out and about on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Monday. (Kena Betancur / AFP)

A couple wears face masks and surgical gloves as they walk in Central Park. “I’m scared for me and patients that this could go on” for months, Lauren, a psychologist who declined to give her surname told AFP. Anxiety and depression “all gets heightened at a time like this,” she added, one of the few souls out and about on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Monday. (Kena Betancur / AFP)

UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2020 02:38 PM IST
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