The great hospital ship in New York: a lot of noise, few patients | Society

When the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, went to receive a little over a week ago to the hospital ship USNS Comfort At Pier 90, he said it was the “boost of hope” he needed the State of the country hardest hit by the coronavirus. But despite the trust placed in his contribution to ease the collapse of the New York hospital system, the input has been disappointing so far. The boat, which has 1,000 beds and a crew of 1,200 people, has received only about fifty patients due to all the requirements and procedures that their admission requires. Its mission was to care for those patients with pathologies other than Covid-19 or who had pending operations. However, the New York authorities pressed so that it could receive those infected by the outbreak, something to which President Donald Trump agreed on Monday. The following day, a member of the crew tested positive and several have been isolated.

Tuesday morning, he USNS Comfort, the sixth largest ship in its class in the world, had 44 patients on board, according to Navy spokeswoman Elizabeth Baker. The reason why they would have received so few patients is due to the bureaucratic obstacles that health and sick centers had to face, in addition to a sharp decrease in hospitalizations not related to the virus, according to reports The New York Times.

Regarding the infected crew member – who is not part of the medical team and had no contact with patients – Baker stated that it “does not affect at all” the ship’s ability to receive patients. All those who were in contact with him will be isolated for “several days” regardless of test results. Before embarking on the trip to New York from Norfolk, Virginia, the entire crew tested negative for coronavirus and have been confined since arrival. As of now, part of the medical team will be transferred daily to a hotel to reduce the number of personnel in the common areas of the boat.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lobbied for the USNS Comfort and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center could receive patients infected by the outbreak. Trump agreed last week that only the second would fulfill that mission, which he hopes to care for 2,500 patients. “We don’t need the facility for non-Covid cases, we need it for Covid cases,” Cuomo said Monday at his press conference. Hours later, the president agreed to allow the ship to open its doors to patients with coronavirus.

To better fulfill its new purpose, the vessel has reconfigured its facilities and is now divided into two zones: the red one, with infected patients, and the green one, where the rest of the crew operates. “This reconfiguration will allow us to separate our Covid and non-Covid patients, but it reduces our capacity to approximately 500 patients,” a Navy official explained to CNN. The most seriously ill are transferred to the ship, while those with lower risks are Transferred to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center All patients must consent before being moved from their respective hospitals to the Department of Defense facility.

At noon on Wednesday, New York, the epicenter of the outbreak, has registered a new record of deaths from coronavirus, with 779 deaths in the state in 24 hours. The total number in this territory amounts to 6,268, most of them Latino and African-American. Governor Cuomo said in his press conference that, despite the bad numbers, there is a “downward trend” in hospitalizations.

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