The Navy is officially not helping with the Coronavirus crisis that is exploding out of proportion.
Are they doing the right thing by letting people be shuffled in already overcrowded hospital beds while they remain in a Corona-free ‘bubble’ and accept only the non-contaminated trauma patients?
The question arose when it was notified to the press on Friday that the Coronavirus patients were “mistakenly” transferred from the Javits Center to be taken aboard the USNS Comfort, a fully equipped hospital ship mostly for disaster and conflict support, after they tested positive for the virus.
They were kept within safe reach and space, technically not violating the immunity ‘bubble’ that was set on the medical ship. They were returned a few hours later, being recommitted to the Javits Center.
But the question is, why is there a medical ship in full capability and capacity stationed near New York City when it was to not function for the most imminent medical disaster the U.S. has ever faced in previous decades?
The official response to such queries, answered by the ship’s press officer Lt. Commander Amelia Umaya is that: “We were prepared with a contingency plan in case we received patients that later tested positive. Immediately upon arrival the patients were isolated while awaiting the test results.”
Captain Patrick Amersbach, one of the medical officer on board, elaborated further that:
“We consider the USNS Comfort to be in a bubble” and that the steps necessitated by regulations firmly binding them include not disembarking nor fully treating the overload surplus patients suffering from the pandemic.
The idea seems fair enough in a glance, except for the fact that this is not your average contingency, if there ever was such a word for it. Nor was there a perfect illumination into how the guideline was eventually settled in such manners. Some is saying that the Navy is trying not to infect the Navy crew members, while others say the ship, in its entirety, would be very hard to disinfect.
Also, a doctor speaking with The New York Times argued that the ship’s cots were designed for mass casualty operations, meaning its 1000-bed capacity is closely placed together.
However, Michael Dowling, CEO of the city’s largest healthcare network group Northwell Health, refuted the idea and called the Navy’s stance as a ‘joke’:
“Everyone can say, “Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls But we’re in a crisis here, we’re in a battlefield.”
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