A pedestrian wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-1 coronavirus and concerns stands in line for a free food handout at the Bowery Mission, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

By The Associated Press

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York could be six days away from exhausting its supply of ventilators as the statewide death count jumped by more than 400 in 24 hours.

The breathing machines have become the crucial piece of equipment sought by state and city officials as COVID-19-related hospitalizations spike.

The state is stockpiling ventilators and just released 400 to New York City and another 200 to the surrounding suburbs. But the governor foresaw a problem if the rate of demand keeps up.

“At the current burn rate, we have about six days of ventilators in our stockpile,” the governor said at a news briefing at the state Capitol.

If supplies run short, the state is ready to use anesthesia and BiPAP machines as well as using more than one patient on a single ventilator.

More than 92,000 state residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The true number of people sickened by the virus is likely much higher because officials have been rationing tests and encouraging all but the most seriously ill people not to seek treatment and instead ride it out at home.

Deaths and hospitalizations in New York continue to increase at an alarming pace as the outbreak moves closer to its projected peak this month. There were 432 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

There were 13,383 people hospitalized statewide, with 3,396 in intensive care.

Most people who get the virus experience mild or moderate symptoms, including fever and cough. Others, though, develop pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems.