Navy hospital ship reaches COVID-19 epicenter New York

Posted at 9:19 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 11:26:57-04

A Navy hospital ship with a thousand beds has arrived Monday morning in New York Harbor to help relieve the coronavirus crisis slamming the city's hospitals.

The USNS Comfort, which was sent to New York City after 9/11, will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19.

Governor Andrew Cuomo waited to greet the vessel as it reached the dock at a Manhattan cruise ship terminal. The Comfort also has 12 operating rooms that could be up and running within 24 hours.

The ship's arrival comes as New York state's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed Sunday above one thousand less than a month after the first known infection in the state.

New York City is the epicenter of the US outbreak. Doctors and nurses there continue to face shortages of vital protective equipment and ICU beds.

President Donald Trump has extended the nationwide shutdown of thousands of businesses until April 30 in an effort to stop the spread of the epidemic.