New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus

As the number of coronavirus cases in New York continue to skyrocket, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced aggressive new steps to battle the crisis.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, SAYING:"

"The plan is going to pilot closing streets in New York City because we have much less traffic in New York City. Open streets. People want to walk. They want to go out and get some air."

Cuomo also said they will be enforcing new rules limiting the amount of people in the city's playgrounds.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, SAYING:"

"No basketball, for example. You cannot do it. We're asking people to do that on a voluntary basis. If there is noncompliance with that, we will then make it mandatory."

The measures come as the state races to contain the spread of the virus - as of Wednesday there were over 30,000 confirmed cases.

And nearly 18,000 in New York City alone.

However, there are signs the social distancing measures put in place in New York appeared to be working, as the rate of hospitalizations has slowed in recent days.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, SAYING:

"Now that is almost too good to be true. But the theory is, given the density that we're dealing with, it spreads very quickly, but if you reduce the density, you can reduce the spread very quickly."

Still, the governor said the state ultimately expects as many as 140,000 hospital beds will be needed in the coming weeks to treat patients.