Military and medical staff on board the US Navy’s lead hospital ship, ‘Mercy’, are making preparations to take on as many as 1,000 non-coronavirus patients after it docks in the Port of Los Angeles.
The former super oil tanker left its home port in San Diego on Monday to help free up beds on the mainland in the Los Angeles area for treating patients who are infected with the deadly, flu-like virus also known as COVID-19.
More than 800 medical professionals are on board the Mercy to provide medical and surgical services that patients normally would have received in hospitals which are now nearing their maximum with people seeing treatment and testing for the infection.
Military and medical staff on board the US Navy’s lead hospital ship, ‘Mercy’, are making preparations to take on as many as 1,000 non-coronavirus patients after it docks in the Port of Los Angeles. The Mercy is pictured at its home port in San Diego before the current mission
The Mercy is seen departing its San Diego home port, bound for Los Angeles, where it will provide relief to mainland hospitals which are nearing capacity because of the coronavirus outbreak
Crew members are seen on deck of the Mercy as it makes its way to the Los Angeles area to serve as a hospital for noncoronavirus patients in need of medical and surgical services
The bow of the Mercy as it makes its way to the Port of Los Angeles with 800 medical personnel on board
The interior of the Mercy resembles most mainland hospitals, with similar medical equipment for treating patients
Members of the Mercy’s crew are seen making preparations for non-coronavirus patients who will soon come on board in need of medical and surgical procedures
Despite leaving Monday and being only 55 nautical miles from its destination, Pentagon officials have said that the ship needs time to train medics and complete required certifications, according to a Fox News report.
Footage of the white-hulled Mercy in a Fox News segment reveals the effort underway to bring much-needed relief to soon-to-be overwhelmed hospitals.
Additional images reveal staff as they readied critical medical equipment to treat as many as 1,000 patients.
Hospitalman Katelynn Kavanagh, from Temecula, Calif., is pictured sanitizing medical equipment aboard the Mercy
Sailors move a hospital bed along a hallway aboard the Mercy as the hospital ship readies for noncoronavirus patients.
Pictured is one of the Mercy’s intensive care units that will be used for treating noncoronavirus patients
Hospital beds are pictured as they are set up aboard the Mercy for the expected noncoronavirus patients
Sailors on board Mercy wipe down hospital beds with sanitizer in preparation for patients
A hospital corpsman assigned to the Mercy is pictured unpacking medical equipment
Sailors are pictured on the Mercy using sanitary wipes to clean medical equipment
There have been in the US more than 73,000 confirmed cases of the deadly, flu-like virus, also known as COVID-19.
The infection has been blamed for at least 1,074 known deaths across the country.
There have been in the US close to 74,000 confirmed cases of the deadly, flu-like virus, also known as COVID-19. The infection has been blamed for at least 1,074 known deaths across the country
California has had 3,169 confirmed cases of the virus, which has been blamed for at least 67 deaths.
Surgical supplies are pictured aboard the Mercy
Shortly before the ship left San Diego on Monday, Rear Adm. Tim Weber, commander of Naval Medical Forces Pacific, recalled the vessel’s motto.
‘We are, as the USNS Mercy’s motto says, steaming to assist,’ Weber told NPR.
‘In a matter of days we have assembled an incredible crew of more than 800 medical professionals who embark on the Mercy to lift the burden off local hospitals so they can focus on caring for patients with COVID-19.’
‘We are NOT deploying to treat COVID-19 cases,’ said the ship’s commanding officer, Capt. John Rotruck, at a briefing with reporters.
All patients coming aboard will first have to fill out questionnaires and, if needed, have their temperatures taken.
‘If we did wind up with somebody that we either diagnosed as COVID-19 or thought was highly likely,’ Rotruck said, ‘we would be looking to send them off the ship and do appropriate preventative measures for any contact they had.’