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New York state epidemic 'on the descent': governor

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New York (AFP)

The coronavirus outbreak in New York state -- epicenter of the epidemic in the United States -- is "on the descent," Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday.

"We are past the high point, and all indications at this point is that we are on the descent," Cuomo told a press conference.

"Whether or not the descent continues depends on what we do, but right now we're on the descent."

New York has borne the brunt of the virus in the United States, which has killed more than 13,000 people in the state, with more than 226,000 known infections.

A field hospital has been erected in New York City's Central Park, and the state's shutdown -- which orders residents to stay at home except to exercise or perform essential business -- has been extended until May 15.

It is "good news only compared to the terrible news that we were living with, which is that constant increase" in hospitalizations and deaths, Cuomo said of the latest data.

"It's no time to get cocky and it's no time to get arrogant. We have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. This virus has been ahead of us every step of the way.

"We still have to make sure that we keep that beast under control."

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