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Coronavirus sufferers spend night time on Navy hospital ship meant for non-infected New York sufferers

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A navy officer subsequent to the USNS Consolation Navy hospital ship positioned at Pier 90 to look after sufferers not associated to Covic-19 on March 31, 2020 in New York Metropolis.

Pablo Monsalve | Getty Pictures

A number of coronavirus sufferers spent Friday night time aboard the USNS Consolation after federal officers stated the Navy hospital ship was solely speculated to deal with non-coronavirus sufferers.

The Navy stated “lower than 5” sufferers have been transferred to the ship Friday night from the Jacob Okay. Javits Middle in New York Metropolis. The sufferers have been transferred again to the Javits Middle “as quickly as sensible,” a Navy spokesperson stated.

The Javits Middle has been transformed into a brief hospital to deal with coronavirus sufferers amid town’s epidemic, whereas the Consolation is meant to obtain sufferers who haven’t got the virus to alleviate stress on town’s hospitals. 

Hospital leaders in New York Metropolis, nevertheless, have criticized the Consolation’s deployment as “a joke” for not accepting COVID-19 sufferers and failing to offer tangible aid to strained hospitals. The 1,000-bed hospital ship, which arrived in New York Monday, has handled 27 sufferers as of Saturday morning, in response to a Navy spokesperson.

“If I am blunt about it, it is a joke,” Michael Dowling, the top of Northwell Well being hospital system advised The New York Occasions earlier within the week. “Everybody can say, ‘Thanks for placing up these fantastic locations and opening up these cavernous halls.’ However we’re in a disaster right here, we’re in a battlefield.”

COVID-19 has contaminated greater than 113,700 folks throughout New York state and killed at the least 3,565 folks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated Saturday. Greater than half of all instances within the state are in New York Metropolis with at the least 63,306 folks testing constructive, in response to information from Johns Hopkins College. 

The sufferers transferred to the Consolation Friday had not beforehand been examined for COVID-19, Navy spokesperson Beth Baker stated, and so they remained “remoted” on the ship pending outcomes of assessments administered aboard the Consolation. It takes about 24 hours to obtain the outcomes of the assessments, she added.

“Whereas admitting sufferers who have been transferred to USNS Consolation for therapy, a couple of sufferers examined constructive for COVID-19,” Baker stated in a press release.

Fox Information first reported the story.

Bureaucratic obstacles and navy procedures have prevented the Consolation from accepting extra sufferers, in response to the New York Occasions. The Navy disseminated tips to New York hospitals that included a listing of 49 medical circumstances that may preclude a affected person’s admittance to the ship, the Occasions reported. 

“Since arrival, the hospital ship has labored intently with metropolis and native well being officers for non- COVID-19 affected person referrals that arrive by ambulance from both native hospitals or the Javits Federal Medical Station,” A Navy spokesperson stated. “We are going to proceed to coordinate hospital-to-hospital switch of sufferers to USNS Consolation.”

The Pentagon introduced Friday that it had expedited the screening course of for folks to obtain care on the Consolation to extra rapidly relieve overwhelmed New York hospitals. Because of this, the method not requires a affected person to check unfavourable for the coronavirus earlier than boarding.

“What’s totally different is that as an alternative of requiring a unfavourable COVID-19 check previous to arrival at USNS Consolation, we are actually accepting asymptomatic, screened sufferers who can be remoted and examined instantly upon arrival,” a Navy spokesperson stated in a press release.

The screening course of now consists of a pier-side temperature examine and well being questionnaire, Pentagon officers stated Friday. The ship is docked at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s west facet.

The Consolation and its twin ship the Mercy, which was deployed to Los Angeles, have been remodeled from hulking oil tankers into 1,000-bed hospital ships. They’re each practically three soccer fields lengthy and 10 tales excessive, making them indisputably the biggest hospital ships on the planet.

Each ships have facet ports to tackle sufferers at sea in addition to helicopter decks for air transport. The ships are so huge, every could be tantamount to the fourth-biggest hospital in america.

The USNS Mercy and USNS Consolation are outfitted with 12 working rooms, a blood financial institution, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab and a CT scanner. Every has 15 affected person wards, 80 ICU beds and 10 elevators to switch sufferers between decks.

— CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report


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