With more than eight million residents, New York City suffers the highest cases of COVID-19, with five of its residents, have been declared dead as a direct result of the virus.

According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the number of infected patients has risen to 300. In an announcement on Sunday, de Blasio confirmed that two new residents have died resulting from COVID-19. The recently deceased patients were a 78-year-old male and a 53-year-old female, both with underlying conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Just a few hours before de Blasio’s announcement, another 79-year-old female had also passed away. Sunday’s death count was in addition to an 82-year-old female who died on Friday.

The first reported death in the state that had been directly related to the virus was with a 65-year-old male from Rockland County. In his statement, the New York City Mayor expressed his growing concern over the rising COVID-19 cases. “I am very, very concerned that what we see [now] is the rapid spread of this disease. We’ve never been through anything like this. We’re all trying to make sense of this,” de Blasio said.

Alarmingly, according to reports from the Foreign Policy, diplomats who have been staying in the city have been informed to “assume” that they have already been infected by the virus. The report also advised diplomats to avoid contact.

During the conference call, the diplomats were instructed by a team of New York officials headed by commissioner Penny Abeywardena in the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. “Everyone in New York should assume that they have been in contact with COVID-19,” Foreign Policy claims. Others had been worried by de Blasio’s leadership and his decision to withhold vital information from elected officials and health workers.

In New York City alone, there had been 329 confirmed cases in 5 boroughs, which includes: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Statewide, New York had 729 cases in total. The CDC also announced that it recommends canceling gatherings with more than 50 people in the next eight weeks. However, the said recommendation does not apply to school systems and businesses.

In an effort to contain the virus from spreading, New York, along with 30 other states, have shut down all classes, including New York and Los Angeles public schools, which had a total of 1.8 million students. Currently, the US has 3,770 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 69 deaths. While globally, the total death count climbs to a whopping 6,500.

The director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, addressed issues regarding the virus on Sunday. In his statement, the doctor believes that implementing a national shutdown will ultimately slow down the virus from spreading. He also reminded the public to restrict any social interactions. “Everybody has got to get involved in distancing themselves socially … Everything is on the table,” Fauci said.