The coronavirus pandemic which has swept across the United States, making the country the world’s number one hotspot for confirmed disease cases, has seen the military mobilise resources in order to aid in combatting its spread.
Victims of coronavirus were held aboard the USNS Comfort on Friday despite federal officials saying that the Navy hospital ship was exclusively meant to house non-coronavirus patients.
The patients transferred to the Comfort, which is docked in Manhattan, had previously not received COVID-19 tests on Friday, Navy spokesperson Beth Baker said, and are currently “isolated” on the vessel while they await the results of tests they received on board, explaining that the test results take 24 hours to receive.
“While admitting patients who were transferred to USNS Comfort for treatment, a few patients tested positive for COVID-19”, Baker said in a statement.
Until now, the Comfort had not accepted any more patients due to bureaucracy and military customs, according to the New York Times.
Naval guidelines to New York hospitals included up to 49 medical conditions which would deny a patient being stationed on the ship, according to the Times.
“Since arrival, the hospital ship has worked closely with city and local health officials for non- COVID-19 patient referrals that arrive by ambulance from either local hospitals or the Javits Federal Medical Station”, a Navy spokesperson said.