As the coronavirus is threatening to lessen space for the many cases of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Big Apple, the USNS Comfort Hospital ship sails into port as a sign of hope. Said ship was seen symbolically passing the Statue of Liberty to pier 88 in Manhattan Island.
The death toll stands at 775 people and 6,000 infected in the state,s. The intervention of the USNS Comfort is very timely when huge numbers of COVID-19 patients can affect those without it, need hospitalization.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, the USNS Comfort was sent to New York during 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Other US navy hospital ship is sent to the East Coast, one is the USNS Mercy that made port in Los Angeles last Friday. The medical crew were already getting their first patients last Sunday, as referrals from local hospitals, according to the Pentagon.
How equipped is the USNS Comfort?
Hospital ships are a vital part of the US Navy, as they provide mobile medical services for combatants and non-combatants. In New York state, the adversary is the coronavirus which does not choose its victims.
On the ship are 1,000 beds, with a dozen operating rooms that should help ease the medical crises of this pandemic. Projections are off the charts if the outbreak gets worse, and according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, "relief valve for hospitals that are struggling now, that is over capacity all over this city."
Hospital ship missions are from military support, giving humanitarian aid where they can, and help America cope with the onslaught of the pathogen which came from Wuhan as a dire national emergency.
During the 9/11 crisis, the USNS Mercy was there to give needed help to first responders, answering the troubles made by the terrorist attack, according to Rear Adm. John Mustin, vice commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
He issued this message as the ship rolled into port," Our message to New Yorkers - now your Navy has returned, and we are with you, committed in this fight."
USNS Comfort set sail from the Naval Station Norfolk on Saturday, sent off by President Trump, who describes the ship as 'a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the people of New York.'
A history of service in the US Navy
The USNS Comfort has seen action over in 40-years of service, deployed in many theatres all over the world.
It began as a San Clemente-class oil supertanker called the SS Rose City, built in San Diego in 1976 which was bought by the Navy in 1987, including another similar vessel to convert them into Mercy-class hospital ships.
Her sister ship, the USNS Mercy is now deployed to the west coast, in a mission of mercy as it is name-sake.
Modifications to the converted former oil tanker
Inside the converted ship, patients have to move between bulkheads that were left in place. Patients need to access the hospital facilities on the first deck because there are no doors in between to pass between bulkheads.
The Geneva Convention does not allow non-combat ships to be harmed, so several red crosses are painted, also it is unarmed with any attempt to fire at the Comfort is a war crime, an act of war.
USNS Comfort is a hospital ship that is a massive 100 feet-tall, as big as three football fields. By, the virtue of its size, it can help many patients in the coronavirus crisis.
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