About 900 officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) have tested positive for COVID-19 and almost 5,000 are on sick leave, the body announced on Sunday, which has already lost three of its members to the virus.
Authorities expect the number of confirmed cases to continue to rise in the coming days, said NYPD chief Dermot Shea, who accompanied Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference.
Shea explained that the number of sick officers began to increase around March 12 and that although some of the first police officers who tested positive for COVID-19 are already returning to work, the numbers are expected to continue to worsen.
“We are approaching 5,000 members currently out of illness and, by tomorrow, I anticipate that we will have almost 900 positives for COVID-19,” said the head of the largest US police force.
In total, the NYPD has about 36,000 agents and about 19,000 civilian employees, according to figures from the institution itself.
Three members, a detective and two civilians, have died so far as a result of the disease, which has the largest focus in the United States in the Big Apple.
The country has the highest number of cases worldwide, with more than 135,000 and at least 2,381 deaths.
Deaths from the pandemic could reach 100,000 and contagions could be millions, according to the main government epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, this Sunday.
“Looking at what we are seeing now, you know, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 (dead), but I do not want to subject myself to that,” said Fauci, a member of the White House working group against the coronavirus and director of the National Institute of Allergy. and Infectious Diseases, in an interview with CNN television.