New York Post, Friday, March 13, 2020
The New Jersey man who
was the state’s first corona-
virus case says he’s on the
mend — and that he would
be “dead and gone”
had he not reached
out to doctors in
China on how to
defeat the bug.
James Cai, a 32-
day at Hackensack Univer-
sity Medical Center, where
he’s now only experiencing a
cough and fatigue after 11
days of battling the virus.
“Fortunately I have the re-
sources and knowledge
about it. I would be dead and
gone already,” Cai (inset) told
The Post in a text message.
He credited several Chi-
nese doctors with helping his
providers here better under-
stand the infectious disease
taking over his body.
“Most medical providers
here don’t know about
it,” Cai said. “Medical
providers need to com-
municate with Chinese
he be treated with the
chloroquine and the
HIV drug Kaletra.
“Chinese experts suggest
to treat with medicine to
slow the virus first. Don’t
wait,” he said. “Definitely I
would not be here today
Cai said that since he was
otherwise healthy, he fears
how those who are older will
fare fighting the virus.
NJ vic: I’d be dead
without China docs
put you to
By Carl Campanile
and Vincent Barone
Want to get tested for the
coronavirus? Good luck.
Tests are being done at New
York’s public and private hospitals,
as well as some doctors’ offices
and urgent-cares — but the state is
authorizing them only for those
considered to be at high risk due to
extremely limited capacity.
“The person who just wants, out
of an abundance of caution, to get
a coronavirus test, we don’t have
that kind of capacity for,” Mayor
de Blasio said Thursday.
Health officials are advising peo-
ple who feel sick to first see their
personal doctor. Only those with
difficulty breathing should seek
immediate care, the state says.
But even then, you may not be
tested for the virus itself.
The baseline criteria for testing
includes displaying symptoms of
fever and cough, or fever and
shortness of breath, said Mitchell
Katz, president and CEO of NYC
Health + Hospitals.
“We’re testing them first to see if
they have a flu or influenza or
some other explanation,” he said.
In the peak cold and flu season,
doctors and health-care workers
have been inundated with anxiety-
riddled patients seeking a test —
since the symptoms of the corona-
virus are similar to those more
common illnesses, according to a
spokesman for the Northwell
“If someone in their 30s comes
in with mild symptoms, we ask
them to recuperate at home,” said
rep Terry Lynam.
Health-care workers are being
advised to prioritize actual coro-
navirus tests for people who are
exhibiting symptoms of the virus
and are elderly, have compromised
immune systems or have recently
returned from global hot spots,
de Blasio said.
State guidelines also say priority
should be given to people who
have had close contact with some-
one who has tested positive — like
sharing a classroom or office —
and patients who are symptomatic
and have not tested positive for
any other infection.
And those who do score one of
the coveted tests should not ex-
pect automatic results — tests are
taking three or four days to come
back, according to city officials.
Gov. Cuomo said Thursday the
state had an “abundance” of test-
ing kits — but not enough capacity
at labs to process them.
“The laboratory has to have the
capacity to then perform the tests
— that is where we have issues,”
But state Health Commissioner
Dr. Oxiris Barbot said that is
changing — public and commer-
cial labs will soon be able to pro-
cess thousands of tests per day.
She and the mayor say they also
are pushing for the federal Centers
for Disease Control and Preven-
tion to automate test results and
speed up the process.
Due to shortages of kits, the lack
of testing has been a nationwide
CDC Director Dr. Robert Red-
field told lawmakers that under-
investment in public health labs
means “there’s not enough equip-
ment, there’s not enough people,
there’s not enough internal capac-
ity, there’s no surge capacity.”
n EGYPT: A 35-year-old man from New York is
stranded in a remote Egyptian quarantine hospital
with the coronavirus. Matt Swider, an editor at Tech-
Radar, said he was traveling on a Nile cruise when he
was confirmed to have the virus last Saturday.
n AUSTRALIA: The country announced a $17.6 bil-
lion package to stave off a coronavirus-triggered re-
cession — which will include giving cash handouts
to more than a quarter of the population. The one-
time payments — about $475 in US dollars — will go
to pensioners, carers, veterans, families, young peo-
ple and job seekers.
n CANADA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said
Thursday he’s joining his wife, Sophie Grégoire Tru-
deau, in isolation as they await the results of a
coronavirus test she received after falling ill late
Wednesday upon returning from London.
n UK: A 13-year-old British boy was suspended from
school this week for hawking “squirts” of hand sani-
tizer to his classmates to protect them from con-
tracting the coronavirus. Oliver Cooper bought a tub
of Johnson’s child hand wash from a grocery store
for about $2 and was selling squirts to other
children for about 65 cents apiece.
n ICE CREAM: Ben & Jerry’s has postponed its popu-
lar annual Free Cone Day, as local governments
across the nation have implemented restrictions on
large public gatherings to control the coronavirus
outbreak. The event is normally held on the second
Tuesday in April.
n CRUISES: Princess Cruises — the owner of the
coronavirus-plagued ship held in quarantine in
Japan and an infected vessel docked in California —
will suspend all trips worldwide due to the pan-
demic until May 10, the company announced on