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Arrived on March 30 in New York, when the coronavirus pandemic was in full swing, the US military hospital ship USNS Comfort left Thursday, without ever having run at full speed.
This 270-meter-long white boat, marked with red crosses and with a capacity of 1000 beds, entered New York harbor with great fanfare, sent by President Donald Trump and hailed as “a symbol of hope” by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
A crowd had gathered to applaud his arrival, but on Thursday there were only a few New Yorkers watching him depart for his home port of Norfolk, Va., Found theAFP.
An elderly gentleman applauded silently as he watched him slowly leave New York Harbor between downpours.
From the anchor point west of Manhattan, the boat and its crew of some 1,200 sailors ultimately treated few patients: 182 in total, 70% of whom were infected with the coronavirus, Captain Patrick Amersbach, commander said Thursday. for the medical part, cited in a press release.
“Many of these patients were suffering from rapid and multiple organ failures, requiring artificial respirators,” the US Navy statement said.
Based on models of the spread of the disease, the US economic capital was preparing to see its hospitals inundated with sick people.
The governor of the state had ordered hospitals to increase their capacity by at least 50%, or even to double it if possible.
Ultimately, the worst-case scenario did not materialize.
If New York remains the city in the world most affected by the epidemic, with nearly 160,000 recorded cases and more than 17,000 confirmed or probable deaths from the disease, the available capacities have never been fully used.
The number of people hospitalized in New York, including those ill other than the virus, has fallen from a high of around 20,000 in mid-April to around 7,200 today, according to figures from the Covid Data Project.
In this context, the large Javits Center conference center in Manhattan, which had been transformed into a field hospital with some 2,500 beds, is also expected to close next week.