Chinese Billionaires Send 1000 Ventilators To New York's Coronavirus Crisis

The Chinese government and billionaires Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai, co-founders of online marketplace Alibaba, facilitated a gift of 1000 ventilators to New York City.

New York is poised to get more than 1100 ventilators from China and Oregon as it scrambles to line up more breathing machines for the sickest coronavirus patients, state governor Andrew Cuomo says.

The ventilators from China were due to arrive on Saturday, Cuomo said.

Ma has been announcing donations of millions of masks, testing kits and other essential coronavirus equipment to countries worldwide, including through Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Cuomo added the state of Oregon had volunteered to send 140 more breathing machines.

"It's going to make a significant difference for us," said the Democratic governor.

Cuomo had said on Thursday that the state's stockpile of ventilators would be exhausted in six days if the number of critically ill coronavirus patients kept growing at the current rate.

Cuomo later said the National Basketball Association was donating one million masks to the city.

New York is the pandemic's US epicentre, with more than 113,700 confirmed cases as of Saturday morning.

More than 3500 people have died across the state and about 15,000 coronavirus patients are hospitalised.

More than 4100 are in intensive care - many, if not all, of them needing ventilators.

Coronavirus-related illnesses killed 630 people in the last day in New York, Cuomo said on Saturday, in the worst 24 hours yet for the US state.

The United States has the world's highest number of known cases of COVID-19, the flu-like respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.