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Disaster Response Team Begins Hospital Setup in Italy

SAMARITAN’S PURSE STAFF ARE QUICKLY SETTING UP AN EMERGENCY FIELD HOSPITAL IN CREMONA, NEAR MILAN, IN ORDER TO CARE FOR PATIENTS WITH COVID-19.

The Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 aircraft arrived March 17 in Milan, Italy, and our 32-member disaster response team is already preparing the Emergency Field Hospital to provide medical care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our staff are quickly organising medical supplies.

Our 68-bed respiratory unit is being set up in the Cremona Hospital parking lot to help care for an overflow of coronavirus patients. Samaritan’s Purse staff are working with the Italian Air Force and Lombardy Region Civil Protection Volunteers to unload the 20 tonnes of medical equipment transported by the DC-8 and to prepare the respiratory unit to receive patients.

Cremona Hospital has been forced to suspend all medical care except for maternity and pediatrics due to the overwhelming numbers of people suffering from this terrible disease. To date, no patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit have survived COVID-19.

Our team unloads medical equipment that was transported by our DC-8 aircraft.

The city of Cremona sits outside of Milan in the Lombardy region, an area reporting over 17,000 cases and nearly 2,000 deaths due to coronavirus–the highest death toll in Italy. There are more people needing intensive care in Lombardy than there are ICU beds available. Hundreds have died each day for the past several days.

Italy as a nation is now the epicenter of this coronavirus pandemic and is dealing with a staggering 41,000 reported cases, with over 5,000 noted just in the past 24 hours. Sadly, more than 3,400 Italians have died from the disease, a total greater than that reported in China.

Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief personnel, including doctors and nurses, will stay in Italy for at least a month. They are ready to provide excellent, compassionate care in Jesus’ Name to those in desperate need.

Please continue to pray for our medical team and for those patients who are suffering from COVID-19.

Notes: As Samaritan’s Purse deploys to Italy, our Incident Management Team continues to monitor the developing situation.

Our infectious disease experts have been working in coordination with the World Health Organisation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure our teams are taking necessary precautions.

Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has nearly reached 250,000. The death toll is now over 10,000.

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Numbers in article updated as of March 20.