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US Mark Esper confirms Navy hospital ships won't treat coronavirus patients and will take weeks to deploy

00:40  19 march  2020
00:40  19 march  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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  Navy hospital ship expected to deploy to Seattle area to assist with coronavirus relief efforts A US Navy hospital ship is expected to head to the Seattle area in the next five to ten days, according to a US defense official. © Linh Pham/AFP/Getty Images The USNS Mercy is one of two ships being deployed to help respond to the Coronavirus outbreak, though neither will treat patients suffering from the virus. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

The Pentagon said Wednesday that a Navy hospital ship intended to alleviate New York hospitals dealing with coronavirus cases will not be ready for "That's not a days issue that is a weeks issue. So it's gonna be a little while," he added. It was unclear whether the Comfort's twin, the USNS Mercy

The hospital ships were one of the few suggestions some analysts have made when discussing what the US Armed Forces could do to help stem the spread of the coronavirus . It is estimated that it will take about a week to get the ships fully staffed, due to needing to mobilize medical staff from both

Defense Secretary Mark Esper made clear to CNN that two Navy hospital ships being deployed to help respond to the coronavirus outbreak will not treat patients suffering from the virus and will take weeks to deploy.

a large ship in the water: The US Naval Hospital Ship Comfort sits docked at the Port of Miami in Miami, Florida on June 18, 2019. © Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images/FILE The US Naval Hospital Ship Comfort sits docked at the Port of Miami in Miami, Florida on June 18, 2019.

The Pentagon also confirmed they will provide 2,000 hospital beds, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that his state alone needs an additional 50,000.

"I have directed, as the President has mentioned, the hospital ships Mercy and Comfort to be prepared to deploy to increase the nation's medical capacity and we've also alerted a variety of field and expeditionary hospitals to be prepared to deploy as well as needed," Esper said at the White House on Wednesday.

Pentagon to deploy field hospitals to New York, Seattle

  Pentagon to deploy field hospitals to New York, Seattle The Defense Department is preparing to deploy field hospitals to New York City and Seattle later this week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Monday. "Right now, I anticipate sending a [field] hospital to Seattle and a hospital to New York City," Esper told reporters at the Pentagon, adding, "my aim is to get them out this week."He said five such expeditionary units had been given "prepare to deploy orders," and the Pentagon is looking to send them to other locations as needed.He said the deployments will include the hospital, equipment and medical professionals.

The US Navy is preparing its hospital ships to possibly deploy to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the hardest-hit communities in the country. Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed he ordered the Navy to "lean forward" in deploying two of its hospital ships , the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy

The Navy operates two hospital ships , the Comfort and the Mercy, that deploy to help with relief efforts during crises “Given the contagious nature of coronavirus , we suggest that the hospital facilities aboard the USNS Comfort be used to treat non- coronavirus patients and reduce the

Cuomo announced Wednesday that the USNS Comfort would be docked in New York City harbor.

He called the decision to deploy the ship an "extraordinary step" because the Comfort is "literally a floating hospital."

However, the ships will not treat coronavirus patients, they will be used to treat other illnesses or injuries, and free up capacity in civilian hospitals that are expected to be overwhelmed with cases of the virus. Also, the fact the Comfort is not expected to deploy for a number of weeks means it will not provide support if the number of cases and deaths spike in the near term, as many experts have predicted.

The USNS Mercy is likely to deploy sooner, though the Pentagon has not said where it will be sent.

"The Comfort, which is on the East Coast, should be ready in a couple weeks -- plus, the Mercy, which is on the West Coast, should be ready in a week and a half, two weeks, definitely before the end of this month the Mercy will deploy," Esper told CNN's Jake Tapper Wednesday.

What to know about the Navy hospital ships coming to New York and California

  What to know about the Navy hospital ships coming to New York and California The ships will treat patients who don't have coronavirus.The United States Naval Ships Mercy and Comfort each are 894-foot vessels stocked with life-saving equipment.

Eight patients and staff members there were diagnosed with the coronavirus . The death toll in the U.S. from COVID-19 passed the 100 mark on Tuesday, and Washington state accounts A hospital spokesperson confirmed the shortage and said administrators are working to find more supplies. Ali Fedotwosky is frustrated and confused her coronavirus test results will take two weeks while others

But British officials won ' t confirm whether experimental medicines are yet being used on patients in Vulnerable groups should self-isolate for 12 weeks from this weekend even if they have no Doctors in China have claimed it was 'clearly effective' in patients with the coronavirus after they gave it to 80

Esper also said that the Pentagon was prepared to provide field hospitals to state authorities to also help with non-coronavirus patients.

"What we have offered up are what I mentioned -- those field hospitals, those expeditionary hospitals. Those provide the same functions as the hospital ships, we can field them fairly quickly, we can provide hospital beds and we can provide doctors, nurses, equipment all those things you need," Esper told Tapper while making it clear that those field hospitals would similarly not treat coronavirus patients.

"Again they're geared toward trauma, and what we can do is to create space in local hospitals by peeling off their trauma patients putting them through our field hospitals," Esper said, adding "we could set it up in an open field and we can process patients through there whatever makes most sense, that's most convenient for the governors, again those are conversations I'm having."

Exclusive: Pentagon orders halt to overseas movement for U.S. forces for up to 60 days over coronavirus

  Exclusive: Pentagon orders halt to overseas movement for U.S. forces for up to 60 days over coronavirus Exclusive: Pentagon orders halt to overseas movement for U.S. forces for up to 60 days over coronavirusEsper said in an interview that the order applied to all U.S. forces, civilian personnel and families, but noted that there would be some exceptions.

Esper also confirmed reports that the Navy is preparing its two hospital ships to assist efforts but added that they are designed to treat trauma and do not have the segregated areas needed to treat infectious diseases. By: Dan Lamothe. 5:22 PM: Coronavirus looks different in kids than in adults.

Each ship provides 1,000 extra beds and will be manned by Navy doctors to help take the strain off hospitals . On Wednesday, the White House task force said they were The USNS Comfort which is on its way to New York to serve as a floating hospital that will treat coronavirus patients .

Ships receiving maintenance

The Norfolk-based Comfort and San Diego-based USNS Mercy are "currently working to complete scheduled maintenance cycles and identify necessary medical staffing to deploy as soon as possible," the US Navy said in a statement to CNN.

"The Comfort is intended to head to New York, in that area, on timing wise that's a little bit more difficult," Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters on Wednesday.

"The Mercy will be prepared and ready to go much sooner," Hoffman said, saying "they are hopefully going to be prepared to go in days not weeks" and that when it's prepared to sail, a determination will be made as to where it will go.

Each ship has a capacity for about 1,000 beds but many of their treatment areas are in open bay and would therefore be ill-suited to handling potentially contagious coronavirus patients.

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"The Comfort and Mercy will not deploy to treat COVID patients but will be made available to assist with treatment of other patients in coastal locations where local health professionals are necessarily focused on a large number of COVID cases," a spokesperson for the Navy told CNN in a statement.

In addition, over 1,000 field hospital beds are being readied along with the units to man them, not counting the ships,according to Joint Staff Surgeon Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs, who briefed reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday.

Staffing challenges

Another issue is staffing the two ships.

The ships are typically staffed by US Navy reservists or civilian volunteers, and staffing them could present challenges if those personnel are drawn from the civilian medical work force that is actively responding to the crisis.

Defense officials, including Esper, are cognizant of those challenges with Hoffman saying Wednesday that "staffing is an issue."

Officials say that they will seek to avoid calling up reservists and focus on active duty military medical personnel in order to avoid that issue.

"Right now we're looking at our military staffing," Friedrichs said Wednesday.

“Here, we are reaching the end of our possibilities”: the Grand-Est in a state of siege in front of the coronavirus .
© Copyright 2020, L'Obs Patients evacuated by helicopter, field hospital built in haste: the Grand Est, on the front line in the fight against the coronavirus, already has everything of a war zone. "In forty years of exercise, I have never seen that, judge Jean-François Cerfon, head of the resuscitation service at Colmar hospital and president of the Departmental Council of the Order of Physicians in the Haut-Rhin. The thirty resuscitation beds in my establishment are occupied.

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