In the United States, the highest number of deaths due to the novel corona virus has been recorded within one country within 24 hours. According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, 1169 more deaths were recorded between Wednesday 8.30 p.m. Eastern Time and the same time on Thursday evening. The sad record had so far been held by Italy with 969 corona deaths on March 27th.
The city and the state of New York are hardest hit by the pandemic in the United States. According to local health officials, New York City has more than 1,500 corona deaths. The number of infections there rose to almost 50,000.
Hope to alleviate the impending humanitarian crisis resided on the “Comfort” hospital ship, which had been ordered by the US military to New York. The ship offers around 1,000 hospital beds for patients who do not suffer from Covid-19. The lung disease is caused by the novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2.
But as US media reports like the “New York Times” report, the ship that has been in New York since the beginning of the week has so far not been of much help. Of the 1,000 beds, only 20 have been occupied so far, the 1200-strong crew has so far hardly been deployed. The idea of the operation was that patients who had no corona could be treated on the ship – in order to relieve the capacities of the clinics and to prevent them from collapsing.
“The” Comfort “is more than a floating hospital,” announced New York Mayor Bill de Blasio cockily, “it is a symbol.” The ship shows that “the nation does not abandon us.”
“This is a joke”
“When I say it bluntly, it’s a joke,” said Michael Dowling, director of Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital network. “Everyone can say: ‘Thank you for building these wonderful places and opening these halls. But we are in a crisis here, we are on a battlefield.”
According to the newspaper, it is “a tangle of military protocols and bureaucratic hurdles” that have so far prevented USNS “Comfort” from being used more efficiently. Apparently not only Covid 19 patients are not treated there. A list sent to the metropolitan hospitals lists 49 other medical conditions that exclude a patient from admission to the ship.
Another problem: the health system in New York is working at the limit. Again and again reports from patients who die in hospital corridors circulate, photos and videos show how forklift trucks remove the bodies, the morgues are overcrowded. But: the number of non-corona patients is at a low level.
The New York Times reports, “Since most New Yorkers have isolated themselves in their homes, there are fewer injuries from car accidents, gunfire, and construction accidents that would require an emergency room visit.”
Those responsible have apparently recognized this now. Field hospitals set up by the US military in the east coast metropolis of New York are now supposed to treat patients suffering from lung disease Covid-19, contrary to the original plan, it said on Thursday evening. The government is thereby responding to a request from the affected state, US President Donald Trump said at the White House. “All of America is helping the people of New York in their hour of need,” said Trump.
Field hospitals in an exhibition center in New York are said to be able to accommodate at least 2500 patients and are to be operated entirely by medical personnel of the armed forces, as Trump explained. This also applies to field hospitals in the states of Louisiana and Texas, where there will be such facilities in the cities of New Orleans and Dallas, Trump said.
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