Overwhelmed by the rapid rise in the number of coronavirus infected people, the US government has decided to use its navy ships as hospitals and move non-Covid-19 patients from most-affected cities to the sea.
The US on Thursday surpassed China, where the novel coronavirus had originated four months ago, with the highest number of coronavirus infected people. Over 85,000 people have tested positive for the deadly virus and more than 1,300 have died of the disease in the US so far.
New York has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the US with over 38,000 cases diagnosed as on Friday. On the West Coast, California has got the largest number of cases with over 4,000 infected people.
Sources said that since New York hospitals are unable to cope with the growing number of coronavirus positive cases, even as hotels are being used for non-corona patients, the government has decided to move some of the non-Covid-19 patients to navy ships. As the outbreak is spreading fast in New York, many people have been fleeing the city, sources said.
The Trump administration has deployed two navy ships — USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy — to handle the health crisis. While the USNS Comfort departs Virginia for New York City on Saturday, the US Navy confirmed in a tweet that the USNS Mercy has been deployed in support of the nation’s response and efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ship, which left San Diego this week, is arriving in Los Angeles on Saturday. The USNS Mercy, which can hold up to 1,000 hospital beds, will serve as “a referral hospital for non-Covid-19 patients, allowing shore base hospitals to focus their efforts on Covid-19 cases,” the US Navy tweeted.