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Samaritan’s Purse Deploys Emergency Field Hospital to New York City


Staff members have been quickly setting up an Emergency Field Hospital in Central Park, New York City, to provide care for patients seriously ill with COVID-19. A 72-member Disaster Assistance Response Team, including doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel is now on the ground.

Coronavirus patients will be coming to us from our partner, the Mount Sinai Health System. The first priority is to move patients from Mount Sinai Brooklyn and Mount Sinai Queens.

Volunteers and staff are hard at work setting up the field hospital in Central Park.

Volunteers from local churches helped our staff set up the 14-tent, 68-bed respiratory care unit, which was prepared especially for this international response to provide much needed support and to help save lives during the coronavirus pandemic. The field hospital, in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System and intergovernmental agencies, is expected to open on Wednesday.

“People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden. This is what Samaritan’s Purse does – we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus.”

The U.S. has reported more than 156,000 active coronavirus cases – the highest total in the world. New York City is the U.S. epicentre for this terrible disease, which has already killed around 2,900 people across the country.

Our trucks arrived in New York City on March 28.

The situation in the city is dire, with the death total increasing daily. Last week, a makeshift morgue was set up outside of a Manhattan hospital, the first of what is expected to come at other local hospitals as the crisis continues to escalate.

“In order to meet the needs of the coming surge, we must work as a united front in order save as many lives as possible. We are grateful for the collaboration with Samaritan’s Purse who have come to the aid of the people of Italy and now New York. Through this partnership, we are leveraging our collective resources to care for our patients and community,” said Margaret Pastuszko, executive vice president, chief operating officer, and chief strategy officer, Mount Sinai Health System.

Medical facilities are running out of beds in their intensive care units, as about 20 percent of all people who test positive in New York City are requiring hospitalisation. Ventilators and critical medical equipment are also in short supply.

About 50 percent of all cases in the U.S. are coming from the state of New York, with the New York City metro area alone reporting about 800 deaths and more than 36,000 cases across its five boroughs.

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On the Front Lines in Italy

Samaritan’s Purse is also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe. We have another 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital set up in Cremona, outside of Milan. The facility, which opened on March 20, is set up in the Cremona Hospital car park in order to treat an overflow of coronavirus patients.

We have more than 65 disaster relief personnel on the ground in Italy serving in Jesus’ Name.

Our medical team takes time to pray for coronavirus patients in the ICU.

The death toll across Italy has surpassed 11,000 lives, which is the highest total for any nation in the world.

In addition to our two respiratory care units, Samaritan’s Purse has also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by donating personal protective equipment, which is in short supply and desperately needed. Last week, we sent more than 50,000 face masks to hospitals in North Carolina.

Please pray for our teams in both Italy and New York City.

Note: For more content related to our response to this pandemic, please see our International Disaster Relief Updates.

This article was updated on March 30.

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