Immigrant Enclaves in New York Queens Battered by the Crown

NEW: Anil Subba, a Nepalese Uber driver, died just hours after Elmhurst Hospital doctors thought he might be strong enough to be removed from a ventilator. In the neighboring Corona neighborhood, 44, a restaurant worker in Colombia was still burning with fever when his housemate demanded that he leave his rented room.

In a city devastated by it, few places have suffered as much as central Queens, where a 7-square-mile patch of densely populated immigrant enclaves recorded more than 7,000 cases in the first weeks of the outbreak. In the month since the virus exploded in New York, he has proclaimed himself rich and poor, remarkable and anonymous. But as the death toll rises, the contagion has exposed the city's stubborn inequities, tearing working-class immigrants much faster than others.

A group of adjacent neighborhoods, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights, have become the epicenter of the New York outbreak.

As of Wednesday, those communities, with a combined population of approximately 6,00,000, had recorded more than 7,260 coronavirus cases, according to data compiled by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Manhattan, with nearly three times as many people, had about 10,860 cases.

Health officials have not released data on the race or ethnicity of people who are sick, and city planning department officials cautioned against drawing broad conclusions based on zip codes, which is how the city has published limited information on positive cases. However, health workers and community leaders say it is indisputable that the pandemic has disproportionately affected Hispanic day laborers, restaurant workers, and cleaners who make up the majority of the population in an area often celebrated as one of the most diverse places in the world. Latinos account for 34% of deaths in New York City, the highest proportion of any racial or ethnic group, according to data released by state officials on Wednesday.

The neighborhoods also have large communities of Indians, Bangladeshis, Chinese, Filipinos, and Nepalese, and a host of other ethnicities that have been devastated by the pandemic.

We are the epicenter of the epicenter, said the councilman Daniel Dromm , who represents Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. He was excited to take stock of losses that included five friends and more than two dozen constituents. This has rocked the entire neighborhood, he said.

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