The Covid-19 test positivity rates trended slightly higher in New York state, with the rate in the "micro-cluster" focus areas, where the pandemic has been the most severe, reaching 2.58 per cent, compared with 2.31 per cent a day earlier, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The statewide positivity rate excluding the "micro-cluster" areas was 1.13 per cent, up from 0.98 per cent on Thursday, Xinhua news agency quoted Cuomo as saying on Saturday. Of the 156,940 tests reported on Friday, 2,061 were positive, or 1.31 per cent of the total, over the 1.15 per cent one day earlier, he added.

As of Saturday, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 33,418 coronavirus deaths in New York for the past seven months, the worst among all the states of the country.

Andrew Cuomo coronavirus test
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo taking coronavirus test on live TV Screen Grab/YouTube

However, it had the third lowest positivity rate of Covid-19 test among all US states, according to the seven-day rolling average updated on October 19 by the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Once the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, New York state has reported more than 499,000 Covid-19 cases, of which New York City accounted for over 263,000.

As of Sunday, the US continued as the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 8,571,943 and 224,771, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

UNGA President Upset With NYC Mayor

Meanwhile, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Volkan Bozkir said that he was "saddened" by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's refusal to meet him. "I was saddened to learn that the Mayor was unavailable to meet with me. This lack of interaction concerns me as policies devised by the City of New York directly affect the work of the UN and by extension millions of lives across the globe," Xinhua news agency quoted Bozkir as saying in a statement on Friday.

"Nevertheless, I will continue my work as president of the General Assembly of the UN, in the hopes of protecting the world's most vulnerable populations and advancing efforts towards a healthier and more sustainable planet. "I hope the City of New York will continue to be a strong partner in that regard," he said.

Bozkir's spokesman, Brenden Varma, told reporters that the meeting with de Blasio was requested around two weeks ago and the mayor's office did not revert until a few days ago with a refusal, without providing any specific reason. The New York City's international affairs commissioner, Penny Abeywardena, said in a statement on Friday that she was "surprised and saddened" by Bozkir's statement.

Abeywardena did not offer any explanation, only saying that de Blasio has an excellent relationship with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and that over the course of the de Blasio administration, the City of New York has had a deeply collaborative relationship with Bozkir's predecessors.