Hospital ships designated for the COVID-19 pandemic

USNS Mercy arrives in Los Angeles, California on 27 March 2020
USNS Comfort heading up the Hudson River

In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, navy from several countries have deployed hospital ships to combat the disease. Aside from providing health services, hospital ships would allow civilian hospitals to offload some of the patients, relieving the pressure on facilities ashore.[1][2] However, this also means that each ship should battle the onboard outbreaks of their own [3]

But, as the infections have slowed or fallen short of worst-case predictions, the globe is dotted with unused or barely used temporary medical facilities, including these hospital ships.[4]

KRI dr. Soeharso

The Indonesian Navy KRI dr. Soeharso picked up 188 Indonesian crew of the cruise ship World Dream in the Durian Strait on 26 February 2020. The vessel took them to Sebaru Kecil Islet and placed under quarantine.[5]

dr. Soeharso evacuated 89 crew of the cruise ship Diamond Princess from Indramayu thermal power plant port, after the crew got health certificate from Japan and flew to Kertajati International Airport. They then used buses to the travel to the port. Indonesia made them undergo a second test, of which one of the crew had a positive result for COVID-19 and was hospitalized in Jakarta. 68 crew of Diamond Princess disembarked at Sebaru Kecil Islet. World Dream evacuees and Diamond Princess evacuees housed at separated different blocks/buildings.[6][7]

KRI Semarang

The Indonesian Navy KRI Semarang transported 68 crews of the Diamond Princess who underwent observation for the coronavirus disease 2019 in Sebaru Kecil Islet to the Port of Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, on 15 March 2020.[8] She transported hand sanitizers from Singapore to Batam on 9 April 2020.[9] On 18 May 2020, she was dispatched to carry COVID-19 testing kits and hand sanitizers from Yayasan Temasek Singapura, Singapore, to Indonesia.[10]

USNS Mercy

USNS Mercy has been deployed to Los Angeles to provide hospital relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.[11] The ship arrived and docked at the Port of Los Angeles cruise ship terminal on 27 March 2020.[12] Her mission is to treat patients other than those with COVID-19, freeing up land-based hospitals to deal with the virus,[13] similar to how USNS Comfort deployed in New York.[14] As of 14 April seven crew members have tested positive for the virus and been removed from the ship for quarantine, along with 100 other sailors who had contact with them.[15][16] As of 15 April, Mercy had treated 48 patients, of whom 30 have been discharged.[16] The ship departed Los Angeles on 15 May.[17]

Related nearby train derailment

ON 31 March, while the ship was docked, a Pacific Harbor Line freight train was derailed, with the wreckage coming to a stop just 230 m (250 yd) from the ship. In an apparent "bizarre attempt to expose a perceived conspiracy", the derailment was intentionally caused by the train engineer who told police that he was suspicious of the vessel and believed the ship was not "what they say it's for." No one was injured and the ship was not harmed; the engineer was charged with train wrecking.[18]

USNS Comfort

Comfort began deployment from Norfolk, Virginia, to New York Harbor on 28 March 2020 to help deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.[19][20] Comfort arrived in New York on 30 March,[21][22] and docked at Pier 90.[23] Although the ship has 1,100 personnel and a capacity of 1,000 beds, as of 3 April it was treating only 22 patients;[24] the low figure was attributable to "bureaucratic obstacles and military procedures."[23]

The ship's stated mission was, originally, to treat patients who did not have COVID-19, freeing up land-based hospitals to focus on patients with the virus,[21] and originally required a patient to test negative for the coronavirus before boarding, but on 3 April changed its process to no longer requires a negative test and to accept "asymptomatic, screened patients who will be isolated and tested immediately upon arrival."[23] On 3 April, multiple patients with the virus spent the night aboard the ship after they were accidentally transferred to the ship from the Jacob K. Javits Center, where a field hospital was in operation; the patients were transferred back to the Javits Center after testing positive for the virus."[23]

On 17 April it was announced that "the USNS COMFORT is prepared to admit patients within a one-hour traveling radius from the ship," and preparations were made to receive coronavirus patients from the Philadelphia area. The ship has removed half its 1000 beds so that it could isolate and treat coronavirus patients.[25] On 21 April, Governor Cuomo told President Trump that the ship was no longer needed in New York. While docked in the city, it treated 179 patients.[26]

Splendid

Splendid in 2007

Mediterranean Shipping Company's Grandi Navi Veloci converted one of their ferries, Splendid, into a hospital ship in order to treat coronavirus patients.[27] The ship was delivered to Liguria, Italy, on 23 March 2020, and was made available for the symbolic cost of 1 EUR.[28][29] With help from Registro Italiano Navale and a number of local and national companies, many of which donated their time, materials, and expertise, Splendid was converted into a hospital ship in roughly 10 days.[29][30][31] Docked at Genoa's Ponte Colombo, the hospital ship is currently treating only coronavirus patients without serious pathologies, such as patients recovering after having been previously intubated.[32][33][34]

BRP Ang Pangulo

On 3 April 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines ordered the conversion of BRP Ang Pangulo of the Philippine Navy (PN) to accommodate COVID-19 patients. The presidential yacht was used as a 28-bed capacity isolation facility for military frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.[35][36]

On 30 April 2021, the PN has announced that the Ang Pangulo was prepared to admit coronavirus patients. The ship was docked at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor.[37]

As of 22 January 2022, the PN announced that the ship was able to extend medical aid to a total of 2,450 patients in Siargao and the Dinagat Islands as part of its humanitarian missions in the area.[38]

References

  1. ^ "Trump Says Hospital Ships Are Headed to Help Combat Coronavirus. It Could Be a While". Time. Archived from the original on 12 February 2022. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Coronavirus: Five things the military can do during pandemic". BBC News. 21 March 2020. Archived from the original on 13 August 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Australia's landing ships could help the Pacific islands deal with Covid-19". The Strategist. 15 April 2020. Archived from the original on 30 January 2022. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  4. ^ "The Mercy and other Navy hospital ships, once thought vital for the coronavirus crisis, see few patients". Los Angeles Times. 1 May 2020. Archived from the original on 16 February 2022. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  5. ^ Afifa, Laila (25 February 2020). "KRI Soeharso to Pick Up Indonesian Crew at World Dream Tomorrow". tempo.co. Archived from the original on 12 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  6. ^ "'Diamond Princess' evacuees to start separate quarantine on Sebaru island". The Jakarta Post. 2 March 2020. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Another Diamond Princess Crew Member From Indonesia Suspected of Contracting Coronavirus". Jakarta Globe. 6 March 2020. Archived from the original on 12 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Diangkut KRI Semarang, WNI ABK Diamond Princess Tiba di Tanjung Priok". detiknews (in Indonesian). 15 March 2020. Archived from the original on 16 March 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  9. ^ "KRI Semarang Angkut Pembersih Tangan Bantuan Singapura". Kompas (in Indonesian). 9 April 2020. Archived from the original on 10 May 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Guskamla Kerahkan KRI Jemput Alat Tes Covid-19 di Singapura". Republika Online (in Indonesian). 18 May 2020. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  11. ^ LaGrone, Sam (17 March 2020). "Pentagon Preparing Navy Hospital Ships Mercy, Comfort for Coronavirus Response". USNI News (Press release). United States Naval Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  12. ^ Correll, Diana Stancy (27 March 2020). "USNS Mercy arrives in Los Angeles to support Covid-19 response". Navy Times. Archived from the original on 31 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  13. ^ Lloyd, Jonathan; Chang, Hetty (27 March 2020). "Help Arrives for Strained Hospitals When Navy Ship Mercy Docks at the Port of LA". NBC Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 27 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Crowds Greet USNS Comfort in NYC Monday; Ship to Help Hospitals With Non-Coronavirus Patients". NBC New York. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  15. ^ Simkins, J.D. (14 April 2020). "Navy struggling to slow outbreak on USNS Mercy as 7 sailors test positive". Navy Times. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  16. ^ a b Naso, Bridget (15 April 2020). "Infected USNS Mercy Crew Members Had Contact With Patients, Navy Says". NBC San Diego. Archived from the original on 19 April 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  17. ^ "USNS Mercy Leaves Los Angeles After Treating 77 Patients; Some Personnel Will Remain in L.A." USNI News. 15 May 2020. Archived from the original on 22 July 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  18. ^ Bill Chappell (2 April 2020). "Train Engineer Says He Crashed In Attempt To Attack Navy Hospital Ship In L.A." NPR. Archived from the original on 14 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  19. ^ LaGrone, Sam (28 March 2020). "Trump Gives USNS Comfort a Send-Off as Hospital Ship Departs for New York" (Press release). United States Naval Institute. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  20. ^ Eckstein, Megan (26 March 2020). "USNS Comfort Will Depart for New York on Saturday with Trump, Modly in Attendance" (Press release). United States Naval Institute. Archived from the original on 27 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Crowds Greet USNS Comfort in NYC Monday; Ship to Help Hospitals With Non-Coronavirus Patients". Archived from the original on 25 April 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  22. ^ Helene Cooper & Thomas Gibbons-Neff (30 March 2020). "Navy Hospital Ship Reaches New York. But It's Not Made to Contain Coronavirus". New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  23. ^ a b c d William Feuer, Coronavirus patients spend night on Navy hospital ship meant for non-infected New York patients Archived 5 April 2020 at the Wayback Machine, CNBC (4 April 2020).
  24. ^ Stracqualursi, Veronica & Browne, Ryan. "Navy hospital ship deployed to NYC with 1,000 bed capacity is only treating 22 patients". publisher. CNN. Archived from the original on 13 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  25. ^ "USNS Comfort hospital ship ready for Philly COVID-19 patients". WPVI-TV. 17 April 2020. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  26. ^ "Gov. Cuomo Tells Trump USNS Comfort No Longer Needed in NYC". NBC New York. 22 April 2020. Archived from the original on 26 April 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  27. ^ "MSC GROUP'S GRANDI NAVI VELOCI (GNV) CONVERTS FERRY INTO FLOATING HOSPITAL FOR CORONAVIRUS RELIEF IN GENOA, ITALY". www.msccruisesusa.com. 25 March 2020. Archived from the original on 8 August 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  28. ^ "Da traghetto a nave ospedale: la nuova avventura della Gnv Splendid". GNV Nave Ospedale. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  29. ^ a b "Splendid case study — how the first passenger ship was transformed for coronavirus relief". seatrade-cruise.com. 20 March 2020. Archived from the original on 10 May 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  30. ^ "How GNV converted a ferry to a floating hospital". Riviera. Archived from the original on 1 August 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Turismo & Attualità - GNV Splendid trasfomata in nave ospedale". www.advtraining.it. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  32. ^ "SPLENDID Current position (Passenger/Ro-Ro Cargo Ship, IMO 9015747) - VesselFinder". www.vesselfinder.com. Archived from the original on 1 August 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  33. ^ "Il medico a bordo della nave-ospedale: "Ne servono altre per isolare i pazienti"". La Voce di Genova. 6 May 2020. Archived from the original on 6 November 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Grandi Navi Veloci converts ferry into floating hospital". CruiseandFerry.net. Archived from the original on 19 May 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  35. ^ Nepomuceno, Priam (5 April 2020). "PH Navy ready to convert presidential yacht into medical ship". Philippine News Agency. Archived from the original on 27 May 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  36. ^ Sadongdong, Martin (17 August 2020). "Presidential yacht used as floating quarantine for military frontliners". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on 15 February 2022. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  37. ^ "BRP Ang Pangulo ready to take in COVID-19 patients". pia.gov.ph. Philippine Information Agency. 30 April 2021. Archived from the original on 30 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  38. ^ ""BRP Ang Pangulo provides Medical Aid to 926 more Patients"". Archived from the original on 30 January 2022. Retrieved 17 February 2022.

Media files used on this page

Coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2.png
Author/Creator: Alexey Solodovnikov (Idea, Producer, CG, Editor), Valeria Arkhipova (Scientific Сonsultant), Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Scientifically accurate atomic model of the external structure of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a strain (genetic variant) of the coronavirus that caused Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan, China, during December 2019

Each separate locus (amorphous blob) is an atom of:

  cobalt: membrane
  crimson: E protein
  green: M protein
  orange: glucose (glycan)
  turquoise : S (spike) glycoprotein
SARS-CoV-2 (Wikimedia colors).svg
Author/Creator: Geraki, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
SARS-CoV-2 logo in Wikimedia colors
Splendid PB030988.jpg
Cruiseferry Splendid of Grandi Navi Veloci into Genova harbour
USNS Comfort arrives Manhattan jeh.jpg
Author/Creator: Jim.henderson, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Looking west from Pier 84 on a drizzly day.
USNS Mercy Los Angeles, Ca.jpg
200327-N-NO101-150LOS ANGELES (March 27, 2020) The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 20) arrives in Los Angeles, Calif., March 27, 2020). Mercy deployed in support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore base hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. One of the Department of Defense's missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. DoD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, as well as state, local and public health authorities in helping protect the health and safety of the American people. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)